Skip to main content

Full text of "Chronicles of the Cape Fear River : being some account of historic events on the Cape Fear River"

See other formats

Collection of «lmerican Uiteratiur 

Ct)e Uibrarp of tfjc (llmUcrSitp of 
i-^ortlj Caroliiui 

"He yave back as rain that which he 
rcceivcil as mist' ' 

r"'^-? ;.(■)/- 577c T.M- 

/'^^ctf.ti^..*-^ o^fc^.7. rf/^rr 





y L lPi^i'4I f 

.n J 



Gape Fear River 






Edwards & Bron^hton Printing Company 



There are what are called labors of love — when men turn 
from their work in the business world and at great pains seek 
to accomplish something for the benefit and advantage of 

The present publication is the fruit of Mr. James Sprunt's 
desire to collate information of general interest concerning 
the Cape Fear Eiver, because he has an abiding affection for 
the noble stream with which he is so familiar and is ani- 
mated by a purpose to preserve in convenient form some ac- 
count of local incidents that are worthy of being remembered. 

In the years just before the war, when I first began to know 
the active men of Wilmington, none stood higher in public 
esteem than Mr. Alexander Sprunt. He was a thorough man 
of business, whose intelligence and sterling worth commanded 
admiration, while his brother. Rev. James M. Sprunt, who 
was teaching the Grove Academy in Duplin, added to the 
credit of the name. These two brothers had come to the Cape 
Fear some ten or fifteen years earlier and had won what is 
most to be valued in life — the good opinion of those who knew 
them. The passage of time has yearly added to the reputa- 
tion of the name, until now it stands unexcelled in the busi- 
ness world. 

The father of these brothers, Laurence Sprunt, a farmer 
near the famous town of Perth, in 1812 married Christiana 
McDonald, daughter of a Highland family, whose brother, 
John McDonald, was a prosperous planter in Jamaica, and 
whose cousins, the Menzies, in Scotland, were prominent and 
wealthy. After his marriage Laurence Sprunt occupied a 
small farm known as Viewfield, near Perth, and there were 
bom his children, Alexander, James Menzies, and Isabella, 
all of whom were educated in Edinburgh. 

After graduating, Alexander became a partner in the firm 
of E-eed, Irving & Co., of London and Port-of-Spain, Trini- 
dad, and as junior partner had personal charge of the business 
at Trinidad, and in the conduct of his business often made 


trips lip the Orinoco River, Venezuela. For a brief while he 
returned to Scotland and married there Jeanie Dalziel, a 
lady of rare personal and intellectual gifts, whose life was 
consecrated in its beautiful Christian devotion. In the biog- 
raphy of another it is incidentally mentioned that "in 1841 
Alexander Sprunt was a ruling elder of the Presbyterian 
Church in Trinidad, a merchant of high standing, a Queen's 
Commissioner, or Magistrate," That he had already attained 
an enviable position and enjoyed a good name is easily appa- 
rent. But through the unfortunate consequences following 
the emancipation of British slaves, Mr. Sprunt was deprived 
of his accumulations, and after some ineffectual efforts in 
Scotland to repair his broken fortune, he removed to Wil- 
mington, whither his brother, Rev. Doctor James Menzies 
Sprunt, subsequently a chaplain in the Confederate Army, 
had preceded him. An expert accountant, he soon found em- 
ployment in the Commercial Bank, and later with T. C. & 
B. G. Worth. On the breaking out of the war he sailed in 
the Edwin with a cargo to Barbadoes, and loaded a return 
cargo of coffee, sugar, and molasses, but when almost in 
sight of Cape Fear, the Edwin was taken by a Federal 
cruiser and Mr. Sprunt was imprisoned at Baltimore until 
Lord Lyons, the British Minister, secured his release. It 
was, however, six months before he could succeed in crossing 
the Potomac and rejoining his family in Wilmington. 

During those years his son, James Sprunt, after studying 
at various preparatory schools, one year in Mr. Muncie's 
school in Glasgow, one year under his uncle at Kenansville, 
four years at Jewett's Academy, one year at Colonel Rad- 
cliffe's Military Academy, and one year at Mr. Mengert's 
school, had made excellent progress ; but while in his four- 
teenth year, under the pressure of circumstances, he was put 
to work with Worth & Daniel. This did not arrest his educa- 
tion, however, for he attended night school under Professor 
Tallichet in French and English literature, and, as he had a 
desire to serve the State at sea, he studied navigation under 
Captain Levy, a former United States naval officer. But dis- 


appointed in securing tlie appointment he coveted, eventually 
he sailed as a passenger on a blockade runner to Bermuda, 
with the promise of Captain Burroughs to give him a position 
on the North Heath, a vessel then building on the Clyde. 
When the North Heath arrived at Bermuda, Captain Bur- 
roughs appointed him purser of that vessel ; but after sailing 
they encountered a terriffic storm, escaping shipwreck only by 
splendid seamanship and the most heroic exertions ; and they 
had to put into Bermuda for repairs. There Mr. Sprunt was 
long ill with fever, and the North Heath sailed without him ; 
but after a little while Capt. J. N. Maffitt appointed him 
purser of the steamer Lilian and on the Lilian he passed 
through all the dangerous and exciting experiences of a 
daring blockade runner. On the third outward voyage the 
Ulian was chased, bombarded for eight hours, disabled, and 
captured ; and Mr. Sprunt, sharing the fate of his associates, 
became a prisoner of war. Subsequently he escaped, but met 
shipwreck on Green Turtle Cay, and it was eight months be- 
fore he reached home, he having in the meantime served as 
purser of the Confederate steamer Susan Bierne, of which 
Eugene Maffitt was chief officer; and he continued on this 
blockade runner until Fort Fisher fell. 

On his third inward trip he had imported ten barrels of 
sugar, which his father sold, investing the proceeds in 24 bales 
of cotton. Sherman's raiders burnt twelve of these bales, but 
with gTcat difficulty the others were saved, and after peace 
they were sold at 48 cents a pound. With the proceeds the 
firm of Alexander Sprunt & Son was founded in 1865-66, 
and although like others it has suffered the vicissitudes of 
changing conditions, it has successfully weathered business 
storms, repaired disasters, and surmounted most discouraging 
difficulties. Always adhering to the principles of its wise 
and righteous founder, who passed away thirty years ago, it 
has, under the masterful direction of Mr. James Sprunt and 
his brother, Mr. William H. Sprunt, prospered, continually 
increasing in strength and reputation until it has attained a 
unique position in the business world. 


Upon the death of his father, who had represented the Brit- 
ish Government in North Carolina for about twenty years, 
Mr. James Sprunt was, without solicitation on his part, ap- 
pointed British Vice Consul, and from this appointment. 
May 6, 1884, to the present time he has held that honorable 
post. During these thirty years he has been twice thanked 
by the British Government — once by the British Admiralty 
for his correction of its important aids to navigation, and 
again by Lord Salisbury, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
for his official report on the Cuba man-of-war incident. 

In 1907 the German Emperor appointed Mr. Sprunt Im- 
perial German Consul for North Carolina and sent him his 
autograph commission, a very high compliment, which was 
not solicited by him nor by his friends. Mr. Sprunt acted 
in that capacity for live years, during which he was twice 
complimented by the Imperial Chancellor Von Biilow for 
his official reports, and when he resigned in consequence of 
impaired health, Emperor William very graciously decorated 
him with the Order of the Royal Crown, which is only given 
for valor in battle and for distinguished services to the State. 

During the years covering Mr. Sprunt's activities, Wil- 
mington has made most gratifying progress. The facilities 
of commerce have been multiplied; the trucking industries 
have been largely developed ; the jobbing business has attained 
remarkable proportions; the bank deposits have tremen- 
dously increased; and, with the removal of obstacles, the 
enterprise and capabilities of the Wilmington merchants have 
achieved splendid results. Indeed there has been progress 
all along the line, resulting in a general diffusion of pros- 

But no other factor leading to these notable results has 
been so effective as the business inaugurated by the firm of 
Alexander Sprunt & Son. 

The combined production of cotton in North Carolina and 
in South Carolina in a good season is approximately two and 
a half million bales, of which the local mills take by far the 
greater part. Of the residue, the principal export house in 


Wilmington, Alexander Sprunt & Son, buys from tlie produc- 
ers directly through their local agents at a hundred and fifteen 
interior stations about half a million bales. These large ex- 
ports, of the value of thirty million dollars, pay tribute to 
Wilmington to the extent of over a million dollars annually 
in railroad freight, in handling expenses, trucking, compress- 
ing, and storing; and besides, from fifty to a hundred thou- 
sand dollars are left by the trans-Atlantic steamers in the 
port of Wilmington for port charges and expenses. Indeed, 
the eight hundred employees of this company, white and 
black, contribute much of the money in circulation in Wil- 
mington that supports the retail trade. 

ISTearly thirty years ago the present senior partner in this 
house foresaw that the sources of cotton supply and demand 
would ultimately be brought into closer relations; and he 
made a tour of seventeen foreign countries in which American 
cotton was used, and established direct business relations 
between the foreign consumers and the Wilmington firm. It 
was the pioneer movement, and the working details were diffi- 
cult. Indeed, some of the obstacles seemed almost insur- 
mountable. The depth of water in the Cape Fear and on 
the bar was not sufficient to float safely the most desirable 
class of vessels for the export trade, and shipowners were 
slow to trust their vessels upon a tortuous stream in shallow 
water with only three feet rise of tide. Moreover, the capital 
of the firm was limited, and their business was conducted 
strictly on the conservative principles laid down by the 
founder of the firm which still bears his name ; but in the end 
caution and perseverance established confidence and brought 
success. It is a remarkable fact that from the beginning of 
the firm in 1865-66 up to the present time, although hun- 
dreds of millions of dollars have passed through the main 
office in Wilmington and their branches in Boston and Hous- 
ton and Liverpool, Bremen and Havre, not on any occasion 
has their paper ever been dishonored. 

As circumstances permitted, the requisite accessories were 
installed. The Champion cotton compress was put in opera- 
tion by the firm, and the Wilmington Compress and Ware- 


house is chiefly owned and operated by them. The plant is 
among the best and most complete in the South, representing 
a large outlay in capital, and it is so conveniently arranged as 
to afford the most improved facilities for the loading and 
unloading of five large steamships simultaneously. 

It is noteworthy that the partners in the Boston office, the 
Houston office, and in the Bremen and Havre firms were all 
trained from boyhood in the Wilmington office; Mr. William 
H. Sprunt, now the most active partner, having been born 
in Wilmington. It has been a Wilmington business, first 
and last, fortunate in its operations and beneficent in its 

All through life Mr. Sprunt has had close association with 
the Cape Fear Eiver and the bark bearing his hopes and for- 
tunes has had its home on the bosom of that historic stream. 
Not only his business but the pleasures and happy incidents 
of his daily life have been so blended with its waters that he 
cherishes a warm affection for the river itself. Thus he has 
been minded to preserve its traditions and its tales — the 
preparation being indeed a labor of love, undertaken in a 
spirit of grateful return for the many blessings he has enjoyed 
both at his home in the city and at his home at Orton, which 
alike are redolent with delightful reminiscence. 

S. A. Ashe. 




ExPLOEATiON AND SETTLEMENT: Origin of Cape Fear; -Sources 
and Tributaries — Cape Fear Indians — Archaeology of New 
Hanover — Indian Mounds — The Indians of the Lower Cape 
Fear — First Attempted Settlement — Charlestown — Report 
of Commissioners to Explore — Sandford's Account of Con- 
ditions at Charlestown — The End of Charlestown — The 
Pirates 1 

Pebmanent Settlement: Brunswick — A Visit to the Cape Fear, 
1734 — Erection of Wilmington — Decay of Brunswick — 
Spanish Invasion, 1747 — Colonial Plantations — Social Con- 
ditions — Colonial Orton — Libraries on the Cape Fear — 
The Provincial Port of Brunswick — The Stamp Act on the 
Cape Fear — Russellborough 41 

The Revolution: The Institution of the Revolutionary Govern- 
ment — Proceedings of the Committee of Safety — Colonial 
Oflacers — Whigs and Tories — The Battle of Elizabethtown 
— Flora Macdonald — Major Jack Walker 82 

Eaelt Yeaes: The First Steamboat — The Disastrous Year of 
1819 — Negro Insurrection — Plantations on the Northeast 
— Old St. James — First Cape Fear River Improvements — 
Railroads, First Project — First Declaration of a State 
Policy — Origin of the Railroad Project — The Wilmington 
and Weldon R. R. — The Longest Railroad in the World — 
The Development of the Railroad — Wilmington's Com- 
merce—Public Spirit— Activities on the River, 1850-1860— 
Coal — Forgotten Aids to Navigation — Fayetteville 103 

Notable Incidents: Visits of Presidents before the War — 
Washington, Monroe, Polk, Fillmore — Visits of Henry 
Clay — Daniel Webster — Edward Everett — Reception of 
Remains of Calhoun — General McKay — Wilkings and 
Flanner Duel — Old School Days — Governor Dudley — 
Colonel Burr — The Thalians — Odd Characters — Joe Jeffer- 
son 153 

The War Between the States: On the Eve of Secession — 
George Davis — Answer to Lincoln's Call for Troops — 
A Capture before the War — Early War Times — During the 
War— The Blockade— The Cruisers— A Port of Refuge — 
Changes During the War — The Pestilence — Mrs. DeRosset 
— War Prices — Record of the Officers — The Roster of Camp 
Cape Fear U. C. V. — Fort Fisher and Other Defenses — 
Cape Fear Pilots 219 



Blockade Running: Financial Estimate of Blockade Running — 

North Carolina Steamer Advance — Captain Wilkinson — 
Usina — Taylor — Rescue of Madame DeRosset — Improved 
Ships and Notable Commanders — Famous Blockade Run- 
ners—A Close Call— The Kate— The British Flag— Closing 
Scenes — The Confederate Navy — Wilmington During the 
Blockade — Lines to Mrs. Greenhow — Capture of Wilming- 
ton 372 

Peace Restored: Resumption of Commerce — Disastrous Fires — 
Cuba Man-of-War Incident — Federal Government Im- 
provements, Upper Cape Fear — Board of Commissioners 
of Navigation and Pilotage — U. S. Revenue Cutter Service 
— Cape Fear Life Saving Service — Cape Fear Aids to 
Navigation — Use of Oil to Prevent Breaking Seas — The 
Earthquake, 1886— Visit of the Cruiser Raleigh — Visit of 
President Taft — Boyhood of President Wilson — Southport 
— Fort Caswell — Coastal Canal Project — Congressional Aid 
to River Improvement — City and Port of Wilmington — 
Cape Fear Newspapers — The Bar — The Public Buildings — 
The Schools— The Boys' Brigade — The Revolution of 1898 
— The Atlantic Coast Line — The Seaboard Air Line — Hugh 
MacRae's Projects — Tide-Water Power Co. — The River 
Gaunties — The Growth of Wilmington — Looking Forward. 468 


From early youth I have loved the Cape Fear the ships 
and the sailors which it bears upon its bosom. As a boy i 
delighted to wander along the wharves where the sailing ships 
were moored with their graceful spars and rigging m reliet 
against the sky line, with men aloft, whose uncouth cries and 
^nown tongues inspired me with a longing for the sea 
which I afterwards followed, and for the far-away countries 
whence they had come. 

In later years, I heard the stories of the old time Cape Fear 
gentlemen, whose memories I revere, and I treasured hose 
annals o£ our brave and generous people; I knew all the 
pilots of the Cape Fear, whose record of brave deeds and 
unswerving loyalty to the Confederacy, mider great tnal and 
temptation! and whose steadfast industry in their dangerous 
calling are worthy of all praise; and now, actuated by an 
earnest desire to render a public service after many years 
contact with its men and affairs, I have essayed to wnte in 
the following pages a concise narrative of the sources and 
tributary streams of the Cape Fear River, the origin ofte 
name, the development of its commerce, and the artificial 
aids to its navigation, with a few historical incidents of its 
tidewater region. , 

The limited scope of this undertaking does not reach 
beyond the mere outlines of its romantic dramatic history ol 
which much has been ably written by George Davis, Alfred 
Moore Waddell, Samuel A. Ashe, and other historians of the 

Cape Fear. . ■, ^ j a^^ 

No more is heard the long-drawn cry of the stevedore, go 
ahead horse" and "back down lively," nor the cheerfu^ 
chants of the old time sailor-men as they tramped around 
the windlass from wharf to wharf. The distracting ham- 
mering against rusting steel plates, the clanking of chains 
against the steamship's sides, and the raucous racket of the 
steam donkey, betoken a new era in the harbor of Wilming- 
ton • but the silent river flows on with the silent years as when 


Yeamans came with the first settlers, or as when Flora 
Macdonald sailed past the town to the restful haven of Cross 
Creek ; and the Dram Tree still stands to warn the outgoing 
mariner that his voyage has begun and to welcome the incom- 
ing storm-tossed sailor to the quiet harbor beyond. 

I have largely obtained the data of the commercial develop- 
ment of the river from oflScial sources or reliable records, and 
I have copied verbatim, in some technical details, the generous 
responses to my inquiries by Maj. H. W. Stickle, Corps of 
Engineers U. S. A. ; Capt. C. S. Eidley, U. S. A., Assistant 
Engineer ; Mr. R. C. Merritt, Assistant Engineer ; Mr. Joseph 
Hyde Pratt, State Geologist ; Dr. Joseph A. Holmes, Director 
Bureau of Mines; Capt. G. L. Garden, Commanding U. S. 
Revenue Cutter Seminole; Mr. H. D. King, Inspector Lights 
and Lighthouses, Sixth District, and Hon. S. I. Kimball, 
General Superintendent of the Life Saving Service, to each 
of whon^I make this grateful acknowledgment. 

James Sprunt. 

Exploration and Settlement 


The origin of the name, Cape Fear, and its confusion in 
some of our early maps with Ca'pe Fair led many years ago 
to a discussion by the Historical and Scientific Society of 
Wilmington, of which this writer was the secretary. A 
prominent Wilmingtonian of his day, Mr. Henry Nutt, to 
whose indefatigable, intelligent efforts and public spirit the 
closure of New Inlet was largely due, stoutly maintained in 
a forceful address before that body that the name was origi- 
nally Fair and not Fear. 

Mr. George Davis subsequently took the opposite view in 
his valuable contribution entitled An Episode in Cape Fear 
History J published in the South Atlantic Magazine, Janu- 
ary, 1879. 

Would that our youth of the rising generation who daily 
pass the bronze effigy of this foremost scholar and statesman 
of the Cape Fear knew more of one whose wisdom truly illus- 
trated the principles of law and equity, whose eloquence 
commanded the admiration of his peers, who was beloved for 
his stainless integrity, and, shining in the pure excellence of 
virtue and refinement, exemplified with dignity and sim- 
plicity, with gentle courtesy and Christian faith, the true 
heart of chivalry in Southern manhood. 

Said Mr. Davis: "Is it Cape Fair? Or Cape Fear? 
Adjective or noun? ^Under which King, Bezonian?' This 
old, familiar name under which our noble river rolls its 
waters to the sea, is it the true prince of the ancient line, 
or a base pretender, usurping the seat of the rightful heir, 
and, after the fashion of usurpers, giving us terror for beauty, 
storm for sunshine ? 

"There are some among our most intelligent citizens who 
maintain that the true name was, and ought to be now, Cape 
Fair; and that it was originally so given because the first 
adventurers, seeing vdth the eye of enthusiasm, found every- 
thing here to be fair, attractive and charming. And it has 


even been said very lately that it was never called by its 
present name until after 1750, and never officially until 1780. 
(Address of H. Nutt before H. and S. Society.) Unfortu- 
nately, in the mists which envelop some portions of our early 
history, it is sometimes very difficult to guard against being 
betrayed into erroneous conjectures by what appear to be 
very plausible reasons ; and the materials for accurate inves- 
tigation are not of easy access. It is not surprising, there- 
fore, that this opinion should have existed for some time, 
not generally, but to a limited extent. Beyond all doubt 
it is erroneous, and the proofs are conclusive that our people 
have been right in finally rejecting the Beautiful theory, and 
accepting the Fearful. I know of no authority for this 
opinion, except the occasional spelling of the word. The 
strength of the argument seems to be this — Captain Hilton 
was sent in 1663 for the purpose of examining the coun- 
try; he did examine it, reported in glowing terms as to its 
beauty and attractiveness, and throughout his report spelled 
the name Fair. I answer — Very true. But three years 
later, in 1666, Robert Home published his Brief Descrip- 
tion of Carolina, under the eye, and no doubt by the pro- 
curement of the Proprietors; he describes the country in 
much more glowing terms of praise than Hilton did, but 
spells the name, throughout, Fear. And where are we then ? 
And later still, in 1711, a high authority, Christopher Gale, 
Chief Justice of North Carolina, like a prudent politician 
who has not made up his mind which party to join, spells it 
neither Fair nor Fear, but Fare. (2 Hawks, 391.) That 
the name in early times was not infrequently spelt Fair is 
unquestionable. Besides Hilton's report, it is so given in 
the Letter of the English Adventurers to the Proprietors, 
1663 ; in the Instructions of the Proprietors to Governor Yea- 
mans, 1665 ; in Lawson's history and map, 1709 ; and on 
Wimble's map, 1738. And perhaps other instances may be 

"But all these, if they stood alone and unopposed, could 
hardly form the basis of any solid argument. For all who 


are accustomed to examine historical documents will know 
too well how wildly independent of all law, if there was any 
law, our ancestors were in their spelling, especially of proper 
names. Pen in hand, they were accustomed to dare every 
vagary, and no amount of heroic spelling ever appalled them. 

"Some examples will be instructive in our present inves- 
tigation. Take the great name of him who was 'wholly gen- 
tleman, wholly soldier,' — ^who, falling under the displeasure 
of a scoundrel King, and languishing for twelve long years 
under sentence of ignominious death, sent forth through his 
prison bars such melodious notes that the very King's son 
cried out, 'No monarch in Christendom but my father would 
keep such a bird in a cage' ; who, inexhaustible in ideas as in 
exploits, after having brought a new world to light, wrote the 
history of the old in a prison; and then died, because God 
had made him too great for his fellows — that name which 
to North Carolinian ears rings down through the ages like a 
glorious chime of bells — the name of our great Sir Walter. 
We know that it was spelt three different ways, Raleigh, 
Ealegh, and Rawlegh. 

"And Sir Walter's heroic kinsman, that grand old sea-king 
who fought his single ship for fifteen straight hours against 
fifteen Spaniards, one after another, muzzle to muzzle, and 
then yielded up his soul to God in that cheerful temper 
wherewith men go to a banquet: 'Here die I, Richard 
Greenville, and with a joyful and quiet mind, having ended 
my life like a true soldier that has fought for his country. 
Queen, religion, and honor.' He was indifferently Green- 
ville, Grenville, and Granville. 

"And take another of these sea-kings of old who sailed to 
America in the early days — that brilliant, restless, daring 
spirit who crowded into a few brief years enough of wild 
adventure and excitement to season a long life, and then died 
but little more than a boy — he was indifferently Cavendish 
and Candish. 

"Who, without assistance, could recognize Bermuda in the 
'still vexed Bermoothes' of Shakespeare? And Home's 


pamphlet of which I have spoken could only improve it into 

"Coming down to the very time of which we are speaking, 
one of the first acts of the Lords Proprietors after receiving 
their magnificent grant was to publish the important docu- 
ment to which I have alluded, the Declaration and Pro- 
posals to all who will plant in Carolina. It is signed by 
some of the most famous names in English History — George, 
Duke of Albemarle, the prime mover in bringing about the 
restoration of the King; Edward, Earl of Clarendon, Lord 
High Chancellor, and grandfather of two English queens, but 
far more famous as the author of that wonderful book, the 
History of the Great Rebellion; Anthony, Earl of Shaftes- 
bury, Lord High Chancellor and one of the greatest parlia- 
mentary leaders that England ever produced, but far greater 
as the author of that second charter of Anglo-Saxon liberties, 
the Habeas Corpus Act. This very gifted and very famous 
Earl of Shaftesbury, who, I am sorry to say, was more dis- 
tinguished for brilliant talents than for virtuous principles, 
besides being one of the Proprietors had an additional claim 
to our remembrance which has not been generally known. 
He was the first Chief Justice of North Carolina. At a 
meeting of the Proprietors held at the Cockpit the 21st of 
October, 1669, (Kivers, 346) he was elected the first Chief 
Justice of Carolina. As he never visited America I presume 
his ofiice was in a great degree purely honorary. But he 
certainly executed its functions to the extent at least of its 
official patronage. For the record has been preserved which 
shows that on the 10th of June, 1675, by virtue of that office, 
he appointed Andrew Percival to be Register of Berkeley 
Precinct. He had not then been raised to the peerage, but 
was only Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. He gave his two 
family names to the rivers at Charleston, and then took him- 
self the title of Shaftesbury. 

"Such were some of the signers of this pamphlet. Surely 
these men knew. Surely they would give us some unim- 
peachable English. Well, we have an exact copy of the pam- 


pUet and I give you my word that, according to our notions 
the spelling of it is enough to put the whole school of lexi- 
cographers in a madhouse. Instance the following: Clar- 
ending, Northine, plantacon, proposealls, grannte, ingaige, 
groathe, etc., etc. These examples, which might be indefi- 
nitely multiplied, are sufficient to show that he is a bold 
speculator who will venture to build an opinion on the spell- 
ing of a name. 

"But the opposing proofs are quite conclusive, and I do not 
scruple to promise that for every authentic map or document, 
prior to the year 1700, in which the name is written Fair, I 
will point out at least two in which it is written as at present. 
An examination of some of the most important of them will 
remove all doubt from the subject. 

"In DeBry's map of Lane's expedition, 1585, no name is 
given to the Cape, but we find it distinctly laid down, and in- 
dicated by two Latin words which are very significant, pro- 
montorium tremendum. And in the narrative of Sir Kichard 
Greenville's first expedition, in the same year, we find the 
very first recorded mention of the name, which ought to be 
sufficient of itself to fix its certainty for all time. For we 
read there, for the month of June, 1585, this entry: 'The 
23d we were in great danger of a wreck on a breach called the 
Cape of Fear.' 

"And two years later, in the narrative of the first voyage 
under White, -we are told in July, 1587, that 'had not Cap- 
tain Stafford been more careful in looking out than our 
Simon Fernando, we had been all cast away upon the breach 
called the Cape of Fear.' 

"And here we have another orthographic problem to solve. 
Both of these old worthies speak of the Cape of Fear as being 
not a beach, but a breach; and, on the strength of that, possi- 
bly some severe precisian may hereafter start the theory, and 
prove it too, that the Cape was no Cape at all, but only a 
breach or channel through the Frying Pan Shoals. 

"Coming down near a hundred years to the time of the first 
settlements, we find the original spelling preserved in the 


Letter of the Proprietors to Sir William Berkeley, 1G63; in 
the Proposals of the Proprietors already mentioned, 1GG3 ; in 
Home's Brief Description of Carolina, and on the accom- 
panying map, 166G ; in the map styled A New Description of 
Carolina, 1671 ; in the Instructions of the Proprietors to the 
Governor and Council of Carolina, 1683, and in a great many 

"These proofs would seem to leave nothing wanting to a 
clear demonstration of the real name. But there is something 
yet to be added. They show that during the same period of 
time the name was spelt both ways indifferently, not only by 
different persons, but by the same persons, who had peculiar 
means of knowing the truth. It is clear, therefore, that the 
two modes were not expressive of two different ideas, but 
only different forms of expressing the same idea. What then 
was the true idea of the name — its raison d'etre ? 

"In pursuing that inquiry our attention must be directed to 
the Cape alone, and not to the River. For, as we have seen, 
the Cape bore its name for near a hundred years during which 
the Eiver was nameless, if not unknown. And, when brought 
into notice afterwards, the River bore at first a different name 
and, only after some time, glided into the name of the Cape. 
Thus, in the Letter of the Proprietors to Sir William Berke- 
ley, 8th September, 1663, after directing him to procure a 
small vessel to explore the Sounds, they say, *And whilst they 
are aboard they may look into Charles River a very little to 
the Southward of Cape Fear.' And so in the Proposals of the 
Proprietors, 15th August, 1663, 'If the first colony will 
settle on Charles River, near Cape Fear,' etc., etc., and in 
Home's map, 1666, the name is Charles River. 

"Looking then to the Cape for the idea and reason of its 
name, we find that it is the southernmost point of Smith's Is- 
land — a naked, bleak elbow of sand, jutting far out into the 
ocean. Immediately in its front are the Frying Pan Shoals 
pushing out still farther twenty miles to sea. Together they 
stand for warning and for woe; and together they catch the 
long majestic roll of the Atlantic as it sweeps through a 


thousand miles of grandeur and power, from the Arctic to 
wards the Gulf. It is the playground of billows and tem- 
pests, the kingdom of silence and awe, disturbed by no sound, 
save the sea gull's shriek and the breaker's roar. Its whole 
aspect is suggestive, not of repose and beauty, but of desola- 
tion and terror. Imagination cannot adorn it. Romance 
cannot hallow it. Local pride cannot soften it. There it 
stands to-day, bleak, and threatening, and pitiless, as it stood 
three hundred years ago, when Greenville and White came 
nigh unto death upon its sands. And there it will stand 
bleak, and threatening, and pitiless, until the earth and the 
sea shall give up their dead. And, as its nature, so its name, 
is now, always has been, and always will be, the Cape of 


The Cape Fear River, said to have been known to the In- 
dian aborigines as "Sapona," later to the explorers and to 
the promoters in England as the Charles River, the Claren- 
don River, and as the Cape Fair River, is formed by the 
junction of the Haw and Deep Rivers in Chatham Coimty, 
North Carolina. From their confluence, which is about 173 
miles by river above Wilmington, it flows in a southeasterly 
direction through Harnett, Cumberland, and Bladen Coun- 
ties, and between Brunsvidck and New Hanover to the sea. 
The Haw River rises in Rockingham and Guilford Counties 
and flows in a southeasterly direction through Alamance, 
Orange, and Chatham Counties to its junction with the Deep 
River, a distance of about 80 miles measured along its gen- 
eral course. The Deep River is of about the same length as 
the Haw. It rises in Guilford County and flows through 
Randolph and Moore Counties, and joins the Haw in 

The Deep River drains about 1,400 square miles. Its 
tributaries are only small creeks, the most important being 


Eocky River. The Haw River drains about 1,800 square 
miles, and its tributaries are also small, but are larger than 
those of the Deep River. The principal ones, descending 
from the headwaters, are Reedy Fork, Alamance Creek, Cane 
Creek, and New Hope River. 

Between the junction of the Deep and the Haw Rivers and 
Fajetteville, a distance of about 58 miles, the most important 
tributaries which join the Cape Fear are Upper Little 
River, from the west, 32 miles long; and Lower Little River, 
from the west, 45 miles long. There are other small creeks, 
the most important being Carvers Creek and Blounts Creek. 

Between Wilmington and Fayetteville the most important 
tributary is Black River, which enters from the east about 15 
miles above Wilmington and has a drainage basin of about 
1,430 square miles. There are several creeks which enter 
below Fayetteville, the principal one being Rockfish Creek, 
which enters 10 miles below Fayetteville. 

The entire drainage basin above Fayetteville covers an 
area of 4,493 square miles, and the total drainage area of 
the Cape Fear and all its tributaries is about 8,400 square 

At Wilmington the Cape Fear River proper is joined by 
the Northeast Cape Fear River. Their combined average 
discharge at Wilmington for the year is about 14,000 feet a 
second. Floods in their tributaries have but little effect on 
the water level at Wilmington. The lower river is tidal, and 
the effects of tidal variations are felt about 40 miles above 
the city on both branches. 

The City of Wilmington is on the east side of the river, 
opposite the junction of the two branches, and nearly all 
wharves, mills, and terminals are situated on the same side. 
The width of the river at Wilmington is 500 to 1,000 feet. 
Four miles below, it becomes 1 1-2 miles wide, and is of the 
nature of a tidal estuary, varying in width from 1 to 3 miles. 
The distance from Wilmington to the ocean is 30 miles. 


Below Wilmington. 
The improvement of the river was begun by the State of 
ISTorth Carolina between Wilmington and Big Island by em- 
bankments, jetties, and dredging, in 1822, and continued 
until 1829, when the Federal Government undertook the 
work of improvement, and continued it to 1839. Work was 
resumed in 1847 and continued up to the War between the 
States. It was again resumed in 1870 and has been carried 
on continuously since that date. 

The condition of the river prior to the opening of New 
Inlet (which occurred during an equinoctial storm in 1761) 
is rather uncertain, but old maps indicate that there was a 
low-water depth of 14 feet across the bar at the mouth, the 
least depth between Wilmington and the mouth being 7.5 
feet. There is also some uncertainty as to the conditions in 
1829, when the improvement was undertaken by the United 
States, but the most reliable information is that there was 
then about 7 to 7.5 feet at low water in the river, about 9 
feet in Baldhead channel, 9 feet in the Rip channel, and 10 
feet at New Inlet. Work on the bar was begun in 1853, at 
which time the bar depths at low water were 7.5 feet in Bald- 
head channel, 7 feet in Rip channel, and 8 feet at New Inlet, 
the governing low-water depths in the river having been in- 
creased to 9 feet. 

The original project of 1827 was to deepen by jetties the 
channel through the shoals in the 8 miles next below Wil- 
mington. This project resulted in a gain of 2 feet available 
depth. The project of 1853 was to straighten and deepen 
the bar channel by dredging, jettying, diverting the flow from 
the New Inlet and closing breaches in Zekes Island. This 
project was incomplete when the War between the States 
began. Up to that time, $363,228.92 had been spent on the 

After the war the first project was that of 1870, to deepen 
the bar channel by closing breaches between Smiths and 
Zekes Islands, with the ultimate closure of New Inlet in 
view. The project of 1873 included that of 1870 and in 


addition the dredging of the bar channel and the closing of 
New Inlet. The project of 1874 was to obtain bv dredging a 
channel 100 feet wide and 12 feet deep at low water up to 
Wilmington. The project of 1881 was to obtain by dredging 
a channel 270 feet wide and IG feet deep at low water up to 
Wilmington. These projects had been praeticallj completed 
in 1889. At that time the expenditure since the war 
amounted to $2,102,271.93. 

The project adopted September 19, 1890, was to obtain a 
mean low-water depth of 20 feet and a width of 270 feet from 
Wilmington to the ocean. This project has been modified 
several times, the latest modification being that of July 25, 
1912, which provides for a mean low-water channel 26 feet 
deep, 300 feet wide in the river, and 400 feet wide across 
the ocean bar. Work is now progressing on this project and 
to June 30, 1913, there had been spent on it $2,906,900.27, 
exclusive of receipts from sales and rents. To complete this 
project in 1915 and maintain it until completion, as esti- 
mated June 30, 1913, will cost $748,767.80, of which $508,- 
767.80 was on hand June 30, 1913. 

The cost of the improvement of the river by the United 
States Government to June 30, 1913, was $5,372,401.12, 
the expenditure of which has resulted in increasing the avail- 
able mean low water channel depth from 7 feet to 26 feet. 
At present there is a 26-foot mean low-water channel from 
Wilmington to the ocean, varying in width from 100 to 400 

The various projects adopted by the Federal Government 
involved the closing of Xew Inlet, and the construction of a 
defensive dike from Zekes Island, on the south side of New 
Inlet, to Smiths Island. The dam closing New Inlet was 
constructed between 1875 and 1881, and is 5,300 feet long. 
It is built of stone, its first cost being $540,237.11. It was 
badly damaged by a stoi-m in 1906, and the cost of its restora- 
tion and of other minor repairs made since its completion was 
$103,044.75, making its total cost to date $643,281.86. 
Swash Defense dam, south of New Inlet, was constructed 


between 1883 and 1889, and is 12,800 feet long. It is also 
built of stone, the first cost being $225,965. The cost of 
restoring tliis dam after the storm of 1906, including other 
repairs made since its completion, was $170,109.53, making 
the total cost to date $396,074.53. With the exception of 
the construction of these two dams, the results have been 
accomplished almost wholly by dredging. 

It is interesting to note in this connection that the total 
expenditures of the Federal Government upon Charleston bar 
and harbor to the present time are $5,047,016, and the total 
expenditures on Cape Fear Eiver at and below Wilmington 
to the present time are $5,881,168.92. 


Northeast Cape Fear River enters Cape Fear River from 
the east at Wilmington. It has a total length of 130 miles 
(70 miles in a straight line) and has been under improve- 
ment since 1890, the project including the clearing of the 
natural channel for small steamers to Hallsville, 88 miles 
above its mouth, and for pole boats to Kornegay's Bridge, 
103 miles above its mouth. 

The work has consisted in removing snags and other inci- 
dental obstructions from the channel and leaning trees from 
the banks. For several years past, work has been for the 
purpose of maintenance only. To June 30, 1913, there 
had been spent on this stream for improvement and main- 
tenance $33,738.86. At present 8 feet can be carried to 
Rocky Point Landing, 35 miles from the mouth, 5 feet to 
Smith's Bridge, 52 miles up, and 3 feet to Croom's Bridge, 
8 miles further, — at all stages. Above that point it is only 
navigable during freshets. 

Black Rivee. 
Black River is tributary to Cape Fear River, entering it 
from the east about 14 miles above Wilmington. This 
stream has been under improvement since 1887. The origi- 
nal project of 1885 included clearing the natural channel 
and banks to Lisbon, and cutting off a few points at bends. 


modified in 1893, and omitting the part above Clear Run, 66 
miles above the mouth. This was completed in 1895. Since 
that time it has been under maintenance. The total amount 
expended to June 30, 1913, for improvement and main- 
tenance was $32,877.26. The work has consisted in remov- 
ing obstructions from the channel and leaning trees from the 
banks, and in a small amount of dredging. 

At present a depth of 5 feet can be carried to Point Cas- 
well at low stages, above which point there is but little navi- 
gation excepting during freshet stages. 

Town Creek. 

Town Creek is a tributary to Cape Fear Eiver, entering 
it from the west about 7 1-2 miles below Wilmington. It is 
not now under improvement, but was placed under improve- 
ment in 1881, the project being to obtain 4-feet navigation 
at low water by removing obstructions from the mouth to 
Saw Pitt Landing, 20 miles above. After spending $1,000, 
this project was abandoned. An appropriation of $8,500 
was made in 1899 to be expended in obtaining a mean low- 
water channel 5 feet deep and 40 feet wide to Russell's 
Landing, 19 3-4 miles above the mouth, and to clear the 
creek to Rocks Landing, about 4 miles farther up. The 5-foot 
channel was obtained to Russell's Landing by dredging, 
and snags were removed from the channel for the next mile 
above, when the funds were exhausted, and no further appro- 
priation has been made. 

Brunswick River. 

About four miles above Wilmington, the Cape Fear River 
divides, the western branch forming Brunswick River. It 
flows in a southerly direction and again enters the Cape Fear 
River about four miles below Wilmington. Its total length 
is 8 miles. 

This river has never been under improvement, but the 
River and Harbor Act of June 13, 1902, provides for the 
expenditure of not exceeding $1,000 of the money appro- 
priated for the improvement of Cape Fear River, at and 


"below Wilmington, in removing obstructions at the lower 
mouth of Brunswick River. Obstructions were removed 
from a width of 100 feet during 1903 at a cost of $519, 
securing a channel at its mouth 100 feet wide and 7 feet 

According to the recitals in the oldest deeds for lands on 
Eagles Island and in its vicinity on either side, the North- 
east and the Northwest branches of the Cape Fear River 
came together at the southern point of that island. What is 
now called Brunswick River on the west side of the island 
was then the main river ; and Wilmington was on the North- 
east branch, and not on the main stream of the Cape Fear. 
That portion of the river which runs from the Northeast 
branch by Point Peter, or Negrohead Point, as it is called, to 
the Northwest branch at the head of Eagles Island, is called 
in the old deeds and statutes of the State "the thoroughfare," 
and sometimes the "cut through" from one branch to the 
other; and the land granted to John Maultsby, on which a 
part of Wilmington is situated, is described as lying opposite 
to the mouth of the "thoroughfare." At another time, 
what is now known as Brunswick River was called "Claren- 
don" River. 


The tribal identity of the Cape Fear Indians has never 
been clearly established. We find Indian mounds, or tumuli, 
along the river and coast, and in the midland counties, and 
we are told that the head waters of the Cape Fear River were 
known to our aborigines as "Sapona," a tribal name also 
known farther north, and that "King" Roger Moore extermi- 
nated these Indians at Big Sugar Loaf after they had raided 
Orton ; but there is nothing in the mounds, where hundreds 
of skeletons are found, nor in the pottery and rude imple- 
ments discovered therein, to identify the tribe or prove the 
comparatively unsupported statements which we have hith- 

iThe foregoing technical information is from the reports of the 
U. S. Corps of Engineers, by the courtesy of Major Stickle. 


erto accepted as facts. Capt. S. A. Ashe says: "The Cape 
Fear Indians along the coast were Southern. The Saponas 
who resided higher up were probably Xorthem. They were 
not exterminated by "King" Roger; in fact, in 1790 there 
were still some in Granville, and a considerable number joined 
the Tuscaroras on the Tuscarora Reservation on the Roanoke. 
They were both Xorthem, probably, otherwise the Saponas 
would not have been welcome." 

There is reason to believe the tradition, generally known 
to our older inhabitants, that the Indians from the back 
country came regularly in the early springtime to the coast 
of the Cape Fear for the seawater fish and oysters which 
were abundant, and that their preparation for these feasts 
included the copious drinking of a strong decoction of yopon 
leaves, which produced free vomiting and purgation, before 
they gorged themselves to repletion with the fish and oysters. 

The beautiful evergreen leaf and brilliant red berries of 
the yopon still abound along the river banks near the re- 
mains of the Indian camps. The leaves were extensively 
used as a substitute for tea, which was unobtainable during 
our four years' war, and the tea made from them was re- 
freshing and tonic in its effects. The leaves indicate by 
analysis about two per cent caffeine. 

Dr. Curtis, an eminent botanist of North Carolina, says: 
"Yopon I. Cassine, Linn. An elegant shrub ten to fiiteen 
feet high, but sometimes rising to twenty or twenty-five feet. 
Its nativ^e place is near the water (salt), from Virginia 
southward, but never far in the interior. Its dark green 
leaves and bright red berries make it very ornamental in 
yards and shrubberies. The leaves are small, one-half to 
one inch long, very smooth and evenly scalloped on the 
edges, with small rounded teeth. In some sections of the 
lower district, especially in the region of the Dismal Swamp, 
these are annually dried and used for tea, which is, however, 
oppressively soporific — at least for one not accustomed 
to it." 

Our yopon (the above), is the article from which the 


famous Black Drink of the Southern Indians was made. At 
a certain time of the year they came down in droves from a 
distance of some hundred miles to the coast for the leaves 
of this tree. Thej made a fire on the ground, and putting 
a great kettle of water on it, they threw in a large quantity 
of these leaves^ and setting themselves around the fire, from a 
bowl holding aboiut a pint, they began drinking large 
draughts, which in a short time occasioned them to vomit 
easily and freely. Thus they continued drinking and vomit- 
ing for a space of two or three days, until they had suf- 
ficiently cleansed themselves, and then, every one taking a 
bundle of the leaves, they all retired to their habitations. 

It is with no small satisfaction that I have obtained by the 
courtesy of such eminent authority as that of Mr. David I. 
Bushnell, jr., of the Bureau of American Ethnology, who 
is now in Wilmington for investigations on the vanished race, 
the following paper, which he has kindly prepared for this 

I also include a paper by Capt. S. A. Ashe, and Dr. 
Joseph A. Holmes's report upon his personal investigations 
of the mounds in Duplin; and Mr. Bushnell has quoted 
from Mr. W. B. McKoy's valuable contributions on the same 


In reference to the Woccon, Saxapahaw, Cape Fear, and 
Warrennuncock Indians, we find it stated: "Of the North 
Carolina tribes bearing the foregoing names almost nothing 
is known, and of the last two even the proper names have 
not been recorded. The Woccon were Siouan; the Saxa- 
pahaw and Cape Fear Indians presumably were Siouan, as 
indicated from their associations and alliance with known 
Siouan tribes ; while the Warrennuncock were probably 
some people better knoiwn under another name, although they 
cannot be identified."-^ Unfortunately the identity of the 

iMooney, James. The Siouan Tribes of the East. Bulletin Bu- 
reau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894, p. 65. 


Cape Fear Indians has not been revealed, and it may ever 
remain a mystery. The name was first bestowed, by the 
early colonists, upon the Indians whom they found occupying 
the lands about the mouth of the Cape Fear River, and more 
especially the peninsula now forming the southern part of 
New Hanover County. It is aJso possible the term "Cape 
Fear Indians" was applied to any Indians found in the 
vicinity, regardless of their tribal connections, and, as will 
be shown later, the area was frequented by numbers of dif- 
ferent tribes. Although the native people were often men- 
tioned in early writings, it is doubtful whether the Indian 
population of the peninsula ever exceeded a few hundred. 

Evidently Indians continued to occupy the lower part of 
the peninsula until about the year 1725, at which time, 
according to a well-substantiated tradition, they were driven 
from the section. "Roger Moore, because of his wealth and 
large number of slaves, was called King Roger. There is a 
tradition on the Cape Fear that he and his slaves had a battle 
with the Indians at the Sugar Loaf, nearly opposite the town 
of Brunsuack. Governor Tryon, forty years later, mentions 
that the last battle with the Indians was when driving them 
from the Cape Fear in 1725. The tradition would seem to 
be well founded."! 

At the present time, nearly two centuries after the expul- 
sion of the last Indian inhabitants from the peninsula, we 
find many traces of their early occupancy of the area. 
Oysters, and other mollusks as well, served as important 
articles of food, and vast quantities of shells, intermingled 
with numerous fragments of pottery of Indian make, are en- 
countered along the mainland, facing the sounds. These 
masses of shells do not necessarily indicate the sites of vil- 
lages, or of permanent settlements, but rather of places vis- 
ited at different times by various families or persons for the 
purpose of gathering oysters, clams, etc. The majority of 
these were probably consumed on the spot, while others, fol- 
lowing the custom of the more northern tribes, may have 

lAshe, S. A. History of North Carolina. Greensboro, 1908. Vol. 
1, p. 213. 


been dried in the smoke of the wigwam and thus preserved 
for future use. 

The many small pieces of pottery found, mingled with the 
shells, are pieces of vessels, probably cooking utensils, of the 
Indians. Many pieces bear on their outer or convex sur- 
faces, the imprint of twisted cords ; other fragments show the 
impressions of basketry. In a paper read before the His- 
torical and Scientific Society, June 3, 1878, Mr. W. B. 
McKoy described this stage of pottery-making, after the 
clay had been properly prepared: ''The mortar is then 
pressed by the hand on the inside of a hastily constructed 
basket of wickerwork and allowed to dry for a while; the 
basket is then inverted over a large fire of pitch pine and 
the pot is gradually hardened and blackened by the smoke, 
having the appearance of a thick iron pot. By constant use 
afterwards the particles of carbon that have entered the pores 
of the clay are burnt out and then the pot has a red appear- 
ance."^ Fragments occur upon which the designs are char- 
acteristic of pottery from the interior and farther south; 
other pieces are undoubtedly the work of the southern Algon- 
quin tribes. Within a radius of about one hundred miles 
were tribes of the Algonquin, Siouan, and Iroquoian stocks. 
Small parties of the different tribes were ever moving from 
place to place, and it is within reason to suppose that mem- 
bers of the various tribes, from time to time, visited the 
Cape Fear peninsula; thus explaining the presence of the 
variety of pottery discovered among the shell-heaps on the 
shore of the sound. 

The most interesting village site yet examined is located 
about one and one-half miles south of Myrtle So.und, three 
miles north of the ruins of Fort Fisher, and less than one 
hundred yards from the sea beach. Three small shell- 
mounds are standing near the center of the area. The larg- 
est is about thirty inches in height and twenty feet in diame- 
ter. Quantities of pottery are scattered about on the sur- 
face, and a few pieces of stone are to be found. Sugar 

LPublislied in the Daily Review, Wilmington, July 6, 1878. 


Loaf, the scene of the last encounter with the Indians, in 
1725, is less than one mile from this site in a northwesterly 
direction. Here, in the vicinity of the three shell mounds, 
was probably the last Indian settlement on the peninsula. 

A level area of several acres at the end of Myrtle Sound 
was likewise occupied by a settlement, and fragments of 
pottery are very plentiful, these being intermingled with 
quantities of oyster and clamshells scattered over the sur- 
face. Many pieces of the earthenware from this site are 
unusually heavy and arc probably parts of large cooking 

Northward along the Sound are other places of equal in- 
terest, some having the appearance of having been occupied 
during comparatively recent years. This may be judged 
from the condition of the shells and the weathering of the 
pottery. Other remains may date from a much earlier 
period; but all represent the work of the one people, the 
Indians, who had occupied the country for centuries before 
the coming of the Europeans. 

On both sides of Ilewlets Creek, near its mouth, are 
numerous signs of Indian occupancy. On the north side, 
in the rear of the old McKoy house, are traces of an extensive 
camp, and many objects of Indian origin are said to have 
been found here during past years. On the opposite side of 
the creek is a large shell-heap in which fragments of pottery 
occur. Several miles northward, on the left bank of Barren 
Inlet Creek, about one-half mile from the Sound, are signs 
of a large settlement. Here an area of four or five acres is 
strewn with pottery. This was probably the site of a per- 
manent village as distinguished from the more temporary 
camps met with on the shore of the Sound. 

A careful examination of various sites existing on the 
peninsula would be of the greatest interest. The burial 
places of the ancient inhabitants of the country would un- 
doubtedly be discovered, and this would assist in the identifi- 
cation of the people who bore the name "Cape Fear Indians," 
all traces of whom are so rapidly disappearing. 



By Prop. J. A. Holmes. 

(W'ilmington, N. C. Weekly Star, Oct. 26, 1883. Reprinted Journal Elisha Mitchell 
Scientific Society 1883-4, pages 73 to 79) . 

So far as is known to me, no account of tlie Indian burial 
mounds which are to be found in portions of eastern North 
Carolina, has, as yet, been published. This fact is consid- 
ered a sufficient reason for the publication of the following 
notes concerning a few of these mounds which have been 
examined in Duplin and a few other counties in the region 
under consideration. 

It is expected that the examination of other mounds will 
be carried on during the present year, and it is considered 
advisable to postpone generalized statements concerning them 
until these additional examinations have been completed. It 
may be stated, however, of the monnds that have been ex- 
amined already, that they are quite different from those of 
Caldwell and other counties of the western section of the 
State, and of much less interest so far as contents are con- 
cerned. As will be seen from the following notes, they are 
usually low, rarely rising to more than three feet above the 
surrounding surface, with circular bases, varying in diame- 
ter from 15 to 40 feet; and they contain little more than the 
bones of human (presimiably, Indian) skeletons, arranged 
in no special order. They have been generally built on 
somewhat elevated, dry, sandy places, out of a soil similar 
to that by which they are surrounded. No evidence of an 
excavation below the general surface has as yet been observed. 
In the process of burial, the bones or bodies seem to have been 
laid on the surface, or above, and covered up with soil taken 
from the vicinity of the mound. In every case that has 
come under my own observation charcoal has been fonnd at 
the bottom of the mound. 

Mound No. 1. — Duplin County, located at Kenansville, 
about one-half mile southwest from the courthouse, on a 
somewhat elevated, dry, sandy ridge. In form, its base is 


nearly circular, 35 feet in diameter; height 3 feet. The 
soil of the mound is like that which surrounds it, with no 
evidence of stratification. The excavation was made by be- 
ginning on one side of the mound and cutting a trench 35 
feet long, and to a depth nearly 2 feet below the general sur- 
face of the soil (5 feet below top of mound), and removing 
all the soil of the mound by cutting new trenches and filling 
up the old ones. In this way all the soil of the mound, and 
for two feet below its base, was carefully examined. The 
soil below the base of the mound did not appear to have been 
disturbed at the time the mound was built. The contents 
of the mound included fragments of charcoal, a few small 
fragments of pottery, a handful of small shells, and parts 
of sixty human skeletons. No implements of any kind were 
found. Small pieces of charcoal were scattered about in 
different portions of the mound, but the larger portion of the 
charcoal was found at one place, 3 or 4 feet square, near one 
side of the mound. At this place the soil was colored dark 
and seemed to be mixed with ashes. There were here with 
the charcoal fragments of bones, some of which were dark 
colored, and may have been burned ; but they were so nearly 
decomposed that I was unable to satisfy myself as to this 
point. I could detect no evidence of burning, in case of the 
bones, in other portions of the mound. Fragments of pot- 
tery were few in number, small in size, and scattered about 
in different parts of the mound. They were generally 
scratched and cross-scratched on one side, but no definite 
figures could be made out. The shell "beads" were small 
in size — 10 to 12 mm. in length. They are the Marginella 
roscida of Redfield, a small gasteropod, which is said to be 
now living along the coasts of this State. The specimens, 
about 75 in number, were all found together, lying in a 
bunch near the skull and breast bones of a skeleton. The 
apex of each one had been ground off obliquely so as to leave 
an opening passing through the shell from the apex to the 
anterior canal — probably for the purpose of stringing them. 
The skeletons of this mound were generally much softened 


from decay — many of the harder bones falling to pieces on 
being handled, while many of the smaller and softer bones 
were beyond recognition. They were distributed through 
nearly every portion of the moimd, from side to side, and 
from the base to the top surface, without, so far as was 
discovered, any definite order as to their arrangement. ISTone 
were found below the level of the surface of the soil outside 
the mound. In a few cases the skeletons occurred singly, 
with no others within several feet ; while in other cases, sev- 
eral were found in actual contact with one another; and in 
one portion of the mound, near the outer edge, as many as 
twenty-one skeletons were found placed within the space of 
six feet square. Here, in the case last mentioned, several 
of the skeletons lay side by side, others on top of these, 
parallel to them, while still others lay on top of and across 
the first. When one skeleton was located above another, in 
some cases, the two were in actual contact ; in other cases, 
they were separated by a foot or more of soil. 

As to the position of the parts of the individual skeletons, 
this could not be fully settled in the present case on account 
of the decayed condition of many of the bones. The follow- 
ing arrangement of the parts, however, was found to be true 
of nearly every skeleton exhumed. The bones lay in a 
horizontal position, or nearly so.. Those of the lower limbs 
were bent upon themselves at the knee, so that the thigh 
bone (femur) and the bones of the leg (tibia and fibula) lay 
parallel to one another, the bones of the foot and ankle being 
found with or near the hip bones. The knee cap, or patella, 
generally lying at its proper place, indicated that there must 
have been very little disturbance of the majority of the skele- 
tons after their burial. The bones of the upper limbs also 
were seemingly bent upon themselves at the elbow; those of 
the forearm (humerus) generally lying quite or nearly side 
by side with the bones of the thigh and leg; the elbow joint 
pointing toward the hip bones, while the bones of the two 
arms below the elbow joint (radius and ulna) were in many 
cases crossed, as it were, in front of the body. The ribs and 



vertebrae lay along by the side of, on top of, and between 
the bones of the upper and lower limbs, generally too far 
decayed to indicate their proper order or position. The 
skulls generally lay directly above or near the hip bones, in 
a variety of positions ; in some cases the side, right or left, 
while in other cases the top of the skull, the base, or the 
front, was downward. 

But two of the crania (A and B of the following table) 
obtained from this mound were sufficiently well preserved 
for measurement; and both of these, as shown by the teeth, 
are skulls of adults. C of this table is the skull of an adult 
taken from mound No. 2, below. 





Index of 

Index of 



193 mm. 
172 mm. 
180 mm. 

151 mm. 
133 mm. 
137 mm. 

144 mm. 
136 mm. 
147 mm. 




The skeletons were too much decomposed to permit the dis- 
tinguishing of the sexes of the individuals to whom they be- 
longed; but the size of the crania (adults) and other bones 
seem to indicate that a portion of the skeletons were those of 
women. One small cranium foimd was evidently that of a 
child — the second and third pair of incisor teeth appearing 
beyond the gums. 

Mound JSTo. 2. — Located 1 3-4 miles east of Hallsville, Du- 
plin County, on a somewhat elevated, dry, sandy region. 
Base of mound nearly circular, 22 feet in diameter ; height, 
3 feet, surface rounded over the top. Soil similar to that 
which surrounds the mound — light sandy. Excavations of 
one-half of the mound exposed portions of eight skeletons, 
fragments of charcoal and pottery, arranged in much the same 
way as described above in case of mound No. 1. The bones 
being badly decomposed, and the mound being thoroughly 
penetrated by the roots of trees growing over it, the excava- 
tion was stopped. No implements or weapons of any kind 
were found. There was no evidence of any excavation hav- 


ing been made below the general surface, in the building of 
the mound, but rather evidence to the contrary. The third 
cranium (C) of the above table was taken from this mound. 
Mound No. 3. — Located in a dry, sandy, and rather ele- 
vated place about one-third of a mile east of Hallsville, Dup- 
lin County. In size and shape this mound resembles those 
already mentioned: Base circular, 31 feet in diameter; 
height 2 1-2 feet. No excavation was made, other than what 
was sufficient to ascertain that the mound contained bones of 
human skeletons. 

Mound No. 4. — Duplin County, located in a rather level, 
sandy region, about one mile from Sarecta P. C, on the 
property of Branch Williams. Base of mound circular, 35 
feet in diameter ; height 2 1-2 feet. Soil sandy, like that 
which surrounds it. Around the mound, extending out for a 
distance varying from 5 to 10 yards, there was a depression, 
which, in addition to the similarity of soils mentioned above, 
affords ground for the conjecture that here, as in a number 
of other cases, it is probable the mound was built by the 
throwing on of soil from its immediate vicinity. Only a 
partial excavation was made, with the result of finding 
human bones, and a few small fragments of charcoal and 

Since the above mounds were visited, I have obtained in- 
formation as to the localities of mounds, similar to those 
described, in the eastern, southern, and western portions of 
Duplin County; and I can hardly doubt but that a closer 
examination of this region will prove them to be more nu- 
merous than they are now generally supposed to be. 

In Sampson County, the localities of several mounds have 
been noted; only one of these, however, so far as I am in- 
formed, has been examined with care. This one (Mound 
No. 5), examined by Messrs. Phillips and Murphy of the 
Clinton School, is located about 2 1-2 miles west of Clinton 
(Sampson County), on the eastern exposure of a small hill. 
In general character it resembles the mounds already de- 
scribed. Base circular, 40 feet in diameter ; height 3 1-2 


feet; soil sandy loam, resembling that surrounding the 
mound. Contents consisted of small fragments of charcoal, 
two bunches of small shell "beads," and parts of 16 human 
skeletons. These skeletons were not distributed uniformly 
throughout the portion of the mound examined. At one 
place there were 9, at another G, and at a third 5 skeletons, 
lying close to, and in some cases on top of, one another. 
In this point as in the position of the parts of the skeletons 
("doubled-up") this mound resembles those described above. 
The bones were generally soft from decay. The small shells 
were found in bunches under two skulls; they are of the 
same kind (Marginella roscida, Redfield) as those from 
Mound Xo. 1, and their ends were ground off in the same 
way. No bones were found below the surface level, and 
there was no evidence of excavations having been made below 
this point. No stone implements of any kind were found 
in the mound. One-half of this mound was examined. 

In Kobeson and Cumberland Counties several mounds 
have been examined; and for information concerning these, 
I am indebted to Mr. Hamilton McMillan. 

Five mounds are reported as having been examined in 
Robeson County, averaging 60 feet in circumference, and 2 
feet high, all located on elevated, dry ridges, near swamps, 
or water-courses ; and all contained bones of human skeletons. 
One of these mounds, located about two miles east of Red 
Springs, examined by Mr. McMillan, in 1882, contained 
about 50 skeletons. Many of these bones near the surface of 
the mound, in Mr. McMillan's opinion, had been partly 
burned — those nearer the bottom were in a better state of 
preservation. There was an "entire absence of skulls and 
teeth" from this mound — a somewhat remarkable fact. A 
broken stone "celt" was found among the remains ; but with 
this one unimportant exception, no mention has been made 
of implements having been found. 

In addition to the above, Mr. D. Sinclair, of Plain View, 
Robeson County, has informed me that he has seen four 
mounds in the southern portion of this county — two near 


Brooklyn P. O., and two between Leesville and Fair Bluff, 
about five miles from the latter place. 

In Cumberland County, two mounds are reported by Mr. 
McMillan as having been examined. One of these, located 
about ten miles south of Fayetteville, was found to contain 
the crumbled bones of a single person, lying in an east and 
west direction. There was also found in this mound a frag- 
ment of rock rich in silver ore. The other mound, located ten 
miles southwest from Fayetteville, near Eockfish Creek, was 
examined by Mr. McMillan in 1860, and found to contain 
a large number of skeletons, * * * bones were well 
preserved and, without exception, those of adults." The 
mound was located on a high, sandy ridge, its base about 20 
feet in diameter ; height 2 1-2 feet. 

In Wake County one mound has been reported as being 
located on the northeast and several on the southwest side 
of the Neuse Kiver, about seven miles east from Raleigh; 
and from the former it is stated that a large number of stone 
implements have been removed. But I have been unable to 
examine these or to obtain any definite information concern- 
ing them. One mound in this county, examined in 1882 by 
Mr. W. S. Primrose, of Raleigh, is worthy of mention in this 
connection, as it resembles in general character the mounds 
of Duplin County. This mound is located about ten miles 
south of Raleigh, on a small plateau covered with an origi- 
nal growth of pines. Base of mound circular, about 14 feet 
in diameter ; height 2 feet. The contents of the mound con- 
sisted of small fragments of charcoal, and the bones of 10 or 
12 human skeletons, much decayed, and arranged, so far as 
could be determined, without any reference to order or 
regularity. No weapons or implements of any kind were 



Br S. A. Ashe. 

The Indians along the Pamlico and Albemarle were of 
Northern origin ; those on the Cape Fear were of Southern 
origin. The Yamassees, who originally lived along the 
coast east of Savannah, were driven back into Georgia soon 
after the settlement. The Indians dwelling on the Santee, 
the Pee Dee, and their branches, seem to have been different 
from the Yamassees, and offshoots from one tribe or nation 
— the Old Cheraws. There was an Indian tradition that 
before the coming of the Englishmen the principal body of 
that tribe, called Cheraw- (or Chero-) kees, after a long fight 
with the Catawbas, removed to the mountains ; but the minor 
offshoots, along the rivers of South Carolina, were not dis- 

When the Cape Fear Indians were at war with the settlers 
at Old Town, the Indians along the southern Carolina coast 
knew of it, but did not take up arms against the English, and 
were very friendly with those who, along with Sandford, 
visited them in 1665. The Indians on the lower Cape Fear 
are said to have been Congarees, a branch of the Old 
Cheraws. Soon after the settlement, they were driven away. 
In 1731, Dr. Bricknell, who made an extended journey to the 
western part of North Carolina in an embassy to the Indians 
in the mountains, in his Natural History of North Caro- 
lina, said: "The Saponas live on the west branch of the 
Cape Fear River; the Toteros are neighbors to them; the 
Keyawees live on a branch that lies to the Northwest." 

Two or three years later, Governor Burrington mentioned 
that the small tribes that had resided near the settlements had 
entirely disappeared; and in 1733, he also mentioned the fact 
that "some South Carolina grants had been located on the 
north side of the Waccamaw River, on lands formerly occu- 
pied by the Congarees." 

The ending "ee" signifies, perhaps, "river." It is sur- 


mised that the true name of Liimher River was Lumhee. An- 
other termination was "aw" — ^Wax-haw, Saxapahaw, Cheraw, 
Burghaw. The Burghaw Indians occupied what we call 


The first trading on the Cape Fear River of which we 
have any record was bj a party of adventurers from Massa- 
chusetts in the year 1660. 

The Historian Bryant says: "There were probably few 
bays or rivers along the coast, from the Bay of Fundy to 
Florida, unexplored by the E"ew Englanders, where there 
was any promise of profitable trade with the Indians. The 
colonist followed the trader wherever unclaimed lands were 
open to occupation. These energetic pioneers explored the 
sounds and rivers south of Virginia in pursuit of Indian 
traffic, and contrasted the salubrity of the climate and the 
fertility of the soil with that region of rocks where they 
made their homes, and where winter reigns for more than 
half the year. In 1660 or 1661, a company of these men 
purchased of the natives and settled upon a tract of land at 
the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Their first purpose was 
apparently the raising of stock, as the country seemed pecu- 
liarly fitted to grazing, and they brought a number of neat 
cattle and swine to be allowed to feed at large under the 
care of herdsmen. But they aimed at something more than 
this nomadic occupation, and a company was formed in 
which a number of adventurers in London were enlisted, to 
found a permanent colony." 

The most authentic account of the first settlement on the 
river states that about the time the New Englanders ex- 
plored that region, John Vassall and others at Barbadoes, 
purposing to make a settlement on the coast of Virginia, 
sent out Captain William Hilton in his ship, the Adven- 
turer, to explore the Cape Fear; and he made a favorable 


report. Soon afterwards, the New England colonists ar- 
rived, but learning of Hilton's visit, thought it best not to 
make a settlement at that time; so thej turned loose their 
cattle on the island and left a paper in a box stating that it 
was a bad place for a settlement. Because of this, Vassall 
again sent Hilton and with him Anthony Long and Peter 
Fabian to make a more thorough examination. 

On Monday, October 12, 1668, the Adventurer came to 
anchor a second time in what they called "The Cape Fear 
Roads," and then the explorers proceeded to examine the 
lands along the river. Their "main river" was our "North- 
east." They called the northwest branch, the Hilton, and 
the "Cut-off" the Green. They ascended both branches 
about seventy-five miles, and were much pleased. Along 
the main river, they named Turkey Quarter, Rocky Point 
and Stag Park, names that have been perpetuated to this 

While these explorations were being made, the King 
granted the whole country south of Virginia to the Lords 
Proprietors, and the promoters of the proposed colony, both 
in New England and in Barbadoes, applied to the Lords 
Proprietors for terms of settlement. These gentlemen 
sought to foster the enterprise, and in compliment to the 
King named the river, the Charles, and the town to be 
built, Charlestown, and the region they called Clarendon 
County. Eventually, the New England Association, John 
Vassall and his friends at Barbadoes, and Henry Vassall and 
the other London merchants who were to supply the colony, 
were all brought into a common enterprise ; and on May 24, 
1664, the first settlers disembarked at the junction of the 
river and Town Creek, about 20 miles from the bar. These 
were followed by accessions from New England and Bar- 
badoes until the number of colonists reached six hundred. 
John Vassall was appointed the surveyor and was the chief 
man in the colony, being the leading promoter of the enter- 
prise, while Henry Vassall managed affairs at London. 
The Proprietors, however, selected as governor the man 


they thought of greatest influence at Barbadoes, Colonel 
John Yeamans; and the King, to show his favor to the 
colony, conferred on Yeamans the honor of knighthood, and 
he also made a gift to the colony of cannon and munitions 
for defense. In November, 1665, Sir John reached the 
colony, and shortly thereafter the first assembly was held on 
the Cape Fear. There was already a war with the Indians, 
arising, according to some accounts, from the bad faith of 
the Massachusetts men who had sold into slavery some 
Indian children, as well as the Indians they were able to take 
prisoners. There was also dissatisfaction with the regula- 
tions of the Proprietors, and especially because the colonists 
were not allowed to elect their o^vn governor, as the people 
of Massachusetts did. Sir John soon left the colony and 
returned to Barbadoes; and as some of the Proprietors had 
died, and, England being at war with Holland, the others 
were too busy to attend to the affairs of the infant colony, for 
more than a year Vassall's appeals to the Proprietors re- 
ceived no answer. The settlers becoming disheartened, 
Vassall did all he could to satisfy them, but they felt cut off 
and abandoned. After they had found a way to reach Albe- 
marle and Virginia by land, he could no longer hold them. 
On October 6, 1667, Vassall wrote from Nansemond, Vir- 
ginia, a touching account of the failure of the colony. 





(Lawson's History of North Carolina, p. 113.) 

From Tuesday, the 29th of September, to Friday, the 
2nd of October, we ranged along the shore from lat. 32 deg. 
20 min. to lat. 33 deg. 11 min., but could discern no entrance 
for our ship, after we had passed to the northward of 32 
deg. 40 min. On Saturday, October 3, a violent storm over- 
took us, the wind being north and east; which easterly 
winds and foul weather continued till Monday, the 12th ; by 
reason of which storms and foul weather we were forced 
to get off to sea, to secure ourselves and ship, and were driven 
by the rapidity of a strong current to Cape Hatteras, in lat. 
35 deg. 30 min. On Monday, the 12th, aforesaid, we came 
to an anchor in seven fathoms at Cape Fair Road, and took 
the meridian altitude of the sun, and were in lat. 33 deg. 43 
min,, the wind still continuing easterly, and foul weather 
till Thursday, the 15th; and on Friday, the 16th, the wind 
being N.W., we weighed and sailed up Cape Fair River 
some four or five leagues, and came to an anchor in six 
or seven fathom, at which time several Indians came on 
board and brought us great store of fresh fish, large mullets, 
young bass, shads, and several other sorts of very good, well- 
tasted fish. On Saturday, the 17th, we went down to the 
Cape to see the English cattle, but could not find them, 
though we rounded the Cape, and having an Indian guide 
with us. Here we rode tiU October 24th. The wind being 
against us, we could not go up the river with our ship; but 
went on shore and viewed the land of those quarters. 

On Saturday we weighed and sailed up the river some 
four leagues or thereabouts. 

Sunday, the 25th, we weighed again and rowed up the 
river, it being calm, and got up some fourteen leagues from 
the harbor's mouth, where we moored our ship. 

On Monday, October 26th, we went down with the yawl 
to Necoes, an Indian plantation, and viewed the land there. 


On Tuesday, the 27tli, we rowed up the main river with our 
long hoat and twelve men, some ten leagues or thereabouts. 

On Wednesday, the 28th, we rowed up about eight or ten 
leagues more. 

Thursday, the 29th, was foul weather, with much rain 
and wind, which forced us to make huts and lie still. 

Friday, the 30th, we proceeded up the main river seven or 
eight leagues. 

Saturday, the 31st, we got up three or four leagues more, 
and came to a tree that lay across the river ; but because our 
provisions were almost spent, we proceeded no further, but 
returned downward before night; and on Monday, the 2nd 
of November, we came aboard our ship. 

Tuesday, the 3rd, we lay still to refresh ourselves. 

On Wednesday, the 4th, we went five or six leagues up 
the river to search a branch that run out of the main river 
toward the northwest. In which we went up five or six 
leagues ; but not liking the land, returned on board that night 
about midnight, and called that place. Swampy Branch. 

Thursday, !N"ovember 5th, we stayed aboard. 

On Friday, the 6th, we went up Green's River, the mouth 
of it being against the place at which rode our ship. 

On Saturday, the Yth, we proceeded up the said river, 
some fourteen or fifteen leagues in all, and found it ended 
in several small branches. The land, for the most part, be- 
ing marshy and swamps, we returned towards our ship, and 
got aboard it in the night. 

Sunday, ^N'ovember the 8th, we lay still ; and on Monday, 
the 9th, went again up the main river, being well stocked 
with provisions and all things necessary, and proceeded up- 
ward till Thursday noon, the 12th, at which time we came 
to a place where were two islands in the middle of the river; 
and by reason of the crookedness of the river at that place, 
several trees lay across both branches, which stopped the 
passage of each branch, so that we could proceed no further 
with our boat; but went up the river by land some three or 
four miles, and found the river wider and wider. So we 


returned, leaving it as far as we could see up, a long reach 
running N.E., we judging ourselves near fifty leagues north 
from the river's mouth. 

We saw mulberry trees, multitudes of grapevines, and 
some grapes, which we eat of. We found a very large and 
good tract of land on the N.W. side of the river, thin of 
timber, except here and there a very great oak, and full of 
grass, commonly as high as a man's middle, and in many 
places to his shoulders, where we saw many deer and turkeys ; 
one deer having very large horns and great body, therefore 
called it Stag-Park. 

It being a very pleasant and delightful place, we traveled 
in it several miles, but saw no end thereof. So we returned 
to our boat, and proceeded down the river, and came to 
another place, some twenty-five leagues from the river's 
mouth on the same side, where we found a place no less de- 
lightful than the former ; and, as far as we could judge, both 
tracts came into one. This lower place we called Eocky 
Point, because we found many rocks and stones of several 
sizes upon the land, which is not common. We sent our boat 
down the river before us, ourselves traveling by land many 
miles. Indeed we were so much taken with the pleasantness 
of the country, that we traveled into the woods too far to 
recover our boat and company that night. 

The next day, being Sunday, we got to our boat; and on 
Monday, the 16th of November, proceeded down to a place 
on the east side of the river, some twenty-three leagues from 
the harbour's mouth, which we called Turkey Quarters, be- 
cause we killed several turkeys thereabouts. We viewed the 
land there and found some tracts of good ground, and high, 
facing upon the river about one mile inward ; but backward, 
some two miles, all pine land, but good pasture-ground. 

We returned to our boat and proceeded down some two or 
three leagues, where we had formerly viewed, and found it a 
tract of as good laud as any we have seen, and had as good 


timber on it. The banks on the river being high, therefore we 
called it High Land Point. 

Having viewed that we proceeded down the river, going on 
shore in several places on both sides, it being generally large 
marshes, and many of them dry, that they may more fitly be 
called meadows. The woodland against them is, for the most 
part pine, and in some places as barren as ever we saw land, 
but in other places good pasture ground. 

On Tuesday, November the I7th, we got aboard our ship, 
riding against the mouth of Green's Eiver, where our men 
were providing wood, and fitting the ship for sea. In the 
interim we took a view of the country on both sides of the 
river there, finding some good land, but more bad, and the 
best not comparable to that above. 

Friday the 20th was foul weather; yet in the afternoon we 
weighed, went down the river about two leagues, and came 
to an anchor against the mouth of Hilton's Eiver, and took 
a view of the land there on both sides which appeared to us 
much like that at Green's River. 

Monday, the 23d, we went with our long-boat, well vic- 
tualed and manned, up Hilton's Eiver; and when we came 
three leagues or thereabouts up the same, we found this and 
Green's Eiver to come into one, and so continued for four or 
five leagues, which makes a great island betwixt them. We 
proceeded still up the river till they parted again; keeping 
up Hilton's Eiver, on the larboard side, and followed the 
said river five or six leagues further, where we found another 
large branch of Green's Eiver, to come into Hilton's which 
makes another great island. On the starboard side going up, 
we proceeded still up the river, some four leagues, and re- 
turned, taking a view of the land on both sides, and then 
judged ourselves to be from our ship some eighteen leagues 
W. by X. 


Proceeding down the river two or three leagues further, 
we came to a place where there were nine or ten canoes all 
together. We went ashore there and found several Indians, 


but most of them were the same which had made peace with 
us before. We stayed very little at that place but went di- 
rectly down the river, and came to our ship before day. 

Thursday, the 26th of November, the wind being at south, 
we could not go down to the river's mouth ; but on Friday the 
27th we weighed at the mouth of Hilton's River, and got 
down a league towards the harbor's mouth. 

On Sunday, the 29th, we got down to Crane Island, which 
is four leagues, or thereabouts, above the entrance of the 
harbor's mouth. On Tuesday, the 1st of December, we 
made a purchase of the river and land of Cape Fair, of Wat 
Coosa, and such other Indians as appeared to us to be the 
chief of those parts. They brought us store of fresh fish 
aboard, as mullets, shads, and other sorts, very good. 

There was a writing left in a post, at the point of Cape 
Fair River, by those New England men that left cattle with 
the Indians there, the contents whereof tended not only to the 
disparagement of the land about the said river, but also to the 
great discouragement of all such as should hereafter come 
into those parts to settle. In answer to that scandalous writ- 
ing, we, whose names are underwritten, do affirm, that we 
have seen, facing both sides of the river and branches of Cape 
Fair aforesaid, as good land and as well timbered as any 
we have seen in any other part of the world, sufficient to ac- 
commodate thousands of our English nation, and lying com- 
modiously by the said river's side. On Friday, the 4th of 
December, the wind being fair, we put to sea, boimd for 
Barbadoes ; and on the 6th of February, 1663-4, came to an 
anchor in Carlisle Bay — it having pleased God, after several 
apparent dangers both by sea and land, to bring us all in 
safety to our long-wished for and much-desired port, to ren- 
der an account of our discovery, the verity of which we do 
assert. Anthony Long. 

William Hilton. 
Petee Fabian. 



(Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 120.) 

The Right Honoble the Lords Proprietors of the Province 
of Carolina in proseciicon of his sacred Ma"*^ intencons 
of planting and civillizing there his domin^ and people of 
Northeme America, w'^^ Neighbour Southward on Virginia 
(bj some called Florida) found out and discovered by S"" 
Sebastian Cabott in the year 1497 at the charges of H: 7: 
King of England co.) constituted S"". John Yeamans Baronet 
their L* Generall with ample powers for placing a Colony in 
some of the Rivers to the Southward and Westward of Cape 
S*' Romania who departing from the Island Barbadoes in 
Octob: 1665 in a Fly boate of about 150 Tonus accompanyed 
by a small Friggatt of his owne and a Sloope purchased by a 
Comon purse for the service of the Colonyes after they had 
been separated by a gTeat storme att Sea (wherein the 
Friggatt lost all her Mast and himselfe had like to have 
foundred and were all brought together againe in the begin- 
ning of November to an Anchor before the mouth of Charles 
River neere Cape Feare in the County of Clarendon, part 
of the same Province newly begunn to be peopled and within 
the L* Gen"^ Commission. They were after blowne from 
their Anchors by a suddaine violent Gust, the Fly boate S*" 
John was in narrowly escapeing the dangerous shoales of the 
Cape. But this proved but a short difference in their Fate, 
for returning with a favorable winde to a second viewe of the 
entrance into Charles River but destituted of all pilates (save 
their owne eyes which the flattering Gale that conducted 
them did alsoe delude by covering the rough visage of their 
objected dangers with a thicke vaile of smoth waters) they 
stranded their vessell on the middle ground of the harbours 
mouth to the Westward of the Channell where the Ebbe 
presently left her and the wind with its owne multeplyed 
forces and the auxiliaryes of the tide of flood beate her to 


peeces. The persons were all saved by the neighborhood of 
the shore but the greatest part of their provision of victualla 
clothes &c : and of the Magazine of Armes powder and other 
Military furniture shipped by the Lords Proprietors for the 
defence of the designed settlement perished in the waters 
the L' Gen" purposed at first immediately to repaire his 
Friggatt which together with the Sloop gate safely into the 
River when the Fly boate was driven off) and to send her 
back to Barbados for security whilst himself in person at- 
tended the issue of that discovery which I and some other 
Gentlemen offered to make Southwards in the Sloope, But 
when the great and growing necessityes of the English 
Colony in Charles River (heightened by this disaster) begann 
clamorously to crave the use of the Sloope in a voyage to 
Virginia for their speedy reliefe, S"" John altered that his 
first resolution and permitting the sloope to goe to Virginia 
returned himself to Barbados in his Friggatt. Yett that 
the designe of the Southern Settlement might not wholy fall, 
Hee considered with the freighters of the sloope that in case 
she miscarryed in her Virginia voyage they should hire 
Captain Edward Stanyons vessell (then in there harbour but 
bound for Barbadoes) to performe the Discovery and left a 
commission with mee for the effecting it upon the returne of 
the Sloope or Stanion which should first happen. 

The sloope in her comeing home from Virginia loaded with 
victualls being ready by reason of her extreme rottenness in 
her timbers to Sinke was driven on shoare by a storme in 
the night on Cape looke out (the next head land to the north 
and Eastward of Cape Feare and about 20 Le: distant her 
men all saved except two and with many difficulties brought 
by their boate through the great Sound into Albemarle 
River neare the Island Roanoke (within this same Province 
of Carolina, to the English Plantation there — 

Captain Stanyon in returning from Babados weakly maned 
and without any second to himselfe driven to and agen on the 
seas for many weekes by contrary winds and conquered with 


care, vexation and watching lost his reason, and after many 
wild extravagances leapt over board in a frenzje leaveing 
his small Company and vessell (to the much more quiet and 
constant though but little knowing and prudent conduct of a 
child, who yett assisted by a miraculous providence after 
many wanderings brought her safe to Charles River in 
Clarendon her desire port and haven. * * * 

[Then Sandford gives an account of his voyage along the 
coast of southern Carolina, the following extract being of 

Indeed all along I observed a kind of emulation amongst 
the three principall Indians of the Country (vizt:) those of 
Keywaha Eddistowe and Port Eoyall concerning us and our 
Friendshipp each contending to assure it to themselves and 
jealous of the other though all be allyed and this notwith- 
standing that they knew wee were in actuall warre with the 
natives att Clarendon and had killed and sent away many 
of them For they frequently discoursed with us concerning 
the warre, told us that the Natives were noughts, the land 
sandy and barren, their Country sickly, but if wee would 
come amongst them wee should finde the contrary to all their 
evills, and never any accasion of dischargeing our gunns but 
in merryment and for pastime. 


Robt: Sandfoed. 

Massachusetts Sending Some Relief. 

(Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, page 238.) 

In 1667 the people at Cape Fear being under distressing 
circumstances, a general contribution by order of court was 
made through the colony for their relief. Although this was 
a colony subject to the proprietary government of Lord 
Clarendon and others, yet the foundation was laid about the 
time of the Restoration by adventurers from New England 
who supposed they had a right to the soil as first occupants 
and purchasers from the natives, and, issuing from Massa- 
chusetts, to the same civil privileges; but they were disap- 
pointed as to both. 


John Vassall to Sir John Colleton. 

(P. p. R. O. Shaftesbury Papers. Bdle. 48. No. 8.) 

Nancymond in Virginny 6th October 1667. 
Honnorable Sir, 

I presume you have heard of the unhapy Loss of our 
Phintation on Charles River the reason of which I could 
never soe well have understood had I not com hither to heare ; 
how that all that came from us made it their business soe to 
exclaime against the Country as they had rendered it unfitt 
for a Christian habitation; which hindered the coming of 
the people & supplys to us soe as the rude Rable of our 
Inhabitants ware dayly redy to mutany against mee for 
keeping them there soe long; insomuch that after they had 
found a way to com hither by land all the arguments and 
authority I could use wold noe longer prevail which inforced 
mee to stop the first ship that came till I could send for more 
shipping to carry us all away togeather espetially such weak 
persons as ware not able to goe by land the charge and trouble 
whereof and the loss of my Estate there having soe ruened 
mee as I am not well able to settle myself heare or in any 
other place to live comfortably. But had it pleased God to 
bring my Cauzen vassall safe hither wee had bin yett in a 
flourishing condition. I sent one Whiticar last November 
on purpose at my owne charge to give the Lords an account 
of our condition but hee was taken by the way soe as I have 
not heard a word from any of you since I receaved my Com- 
missions by Mr. Sanford and indeed we ware as a poore 
Company of deserted people little regarded by any others and 
noe way able to supply ourselves with clothing and neces- 
saries nor any number considerable to defend ourselves from 
the Indians all which was occationed by the hard termes of 
your Consetions which made our friends that sett us out from 
Barbadoes to forsake us, soe as they would neither suply us 
with necessaries nor find shipping to fetch us away, yet had 
wee had but 200£ sent us in Clothinc; wee had made a com- 


fortable shift for annother jeare, and I offered to stay there 
if but twenty men would stay with mee till wee had heard 
from your Lordships, for wee had corne enough for two 
yeares for a farr greater number and tho' the Indians had 
killed our Cattle yett wee might have defended ourselves but 
I could not find 6. men that wold be true to me to stay : soe 
was constrained to leave it to my gTeate loss & ruin, and I 
fear you will not have a much better account of your planta- 
tion at Eoanoke unless a better course be taken to incorage 
their stay for they are not without greate cause of complaints. 
This with my vei-y humble servis presented is all at pres- 
ent From Your honnors humble servant 

John Vassall 
To the Honorable Sir John Coliton 
Knight and Barronett at Nerehald 
These present 
In Essex. 

Samuel Mavekicke to Sec. L^ Arlington. 

(P. p. R. O. Shaftesbury Papers, Vol. XXI, 134.) 

The plantations at Cape Feare are deserted, the inhabi- 
tants have since come hither, some to Virginia. 

Yo most obliged 
humble Servant 
Boston Samuell Mavericke 

Oct. 16, 1667. 


After the departure of the colonists from Charlestown in 
1667 Clarendon County again became a solitude. A few 
years later a new Charlestovm was begun further south, and 
in its management, Sir John Yeamans proved himself a wise 
and efficient Governor, and a meritorious and beneficent 

There was a wide breadth of wilderness between the set- 
tlements in North and South Carolina, and before 1725 it 
was not determined to which province the Cape Fear River 


belonged. About 1692 Landgrave Smith located a grant of 
48,000 acres on that river, and other South Carolina grants 
were located near the confluence of its two branches ; but 
there was no permanent settlement made. One Lockwood, 
from Barbadoes, however, made a settlement farther to the 
south, which the Indians destroyed, and hence the name to 
this day of "Lockwood's Folly." 

The solitude remained unbroken until in 1719, when Steed 
Bonnet, an infamous pirate, established himself within the 
harbor and made such depredations on the commerce of 
Charleston that Colonel Rhett organized an expedition against 
him. A notable battle took place near where Southport 
now stands, ending in the destruction of Bonnet's vessel and 
the capture of many of the pirates. Two days later other 
pirate vessels were taken at sea, and more than a hundred 
pirates were hanged at one time on the wharv^cs of Charles- 
ton. It is supposed that some of Bonnet's men escaped and 
made their way up the river, eventually amalgamating with 
a small tribe of Indians on the Lumber River, where, soon 
after the settlement of the Cape Fear, in 1725, a considerable 
number of English-speaking people were found. 

Permanent Settlement 


On the 24th of January, 1712, was commissioned the first 
Governor of the Province of ISTorth Carolina, separate and 
distinct from the Province of South Carolina. 

In the year 1711 a horrible massacre of the colonists in 
Albemarle occurred, vs^hich was characterized by such fiend- 
ish cruelty on the part of the Indians, led principally by 
Tuscaroras, that the colony on the jSTeuse and Pamlico was 
blighted for years and well-nigh destroyed. One hundred 
and thirty persons were butchered in two hours under the 
most appalling circumstances. Women were laid upon the 
house floors and great stakes driven through their bodies; 
other atrocities were committed too frightful to think of, 
and more than eighty unbaptized infants were dashed to 
pieces against trees. Although it appears that there were 
occasional difficulties with the Indians during the early set- 
tlements, this seems to have been the first general uprising 
in the Province. It led to the Tuscarora War, which would 
probably have exterminated the white people in ISTorth Caro- 
lina but for the timely and generous assistance of South 
Carolina, which voted £4,000 Sterling, and dispatched 
troops immediately to Albemarle without so much as asking 
for security or promise to pay. It appears, however, that 
Virginia, a near neighbor, failed to render any aid, although 
urged to do so by Governor Spottswood in an eloquent speech 
to the Legislature of that Province. It is this war which 
leads us to the introduction of Colonel James Moore, son of 
Governor James Moore, of South Carolina, who came from 
South Carolina with a second force of troops to the help of 
our colonists, and by his active and efficient campaign made 
short work of the Tuscaroras and restored peace to our 
sorely troubled people. 

Meanwhile, a third army had come from South Carolina 
under Major Maurice Moore, a younger brother of Colonel 
James Moore, who after peace remained in Albemarle. The 


next year the people of South Carolina were themselves in 
danger of extennination because of a most terrible Indian 
war, and Major Maurice Moore was dispatched with a force 
to tbeir relief. He marched along the coast, crossing the 
Cape Fear near Sugar Loaf, and was so well pleased with 
the river lands that he conceiv^ed the idea of settling them. 
The Lords Proprietors, however, had prohibited the making 
of any settlement within twenty miles of that river, and it 
was some time before he could carry out his plan. Finally, 
in 1725, he and his kindred and friends in Albemarle and 
South Carolina joined in settling the Cape Fear country. 
His brother, Roger Moore, had married a daughter of Land- 
grave Smith, who in 1092 had located a grant of 48,000 
acres on the Cape Fear, and perhaps this had an influence 
in bringing about the settlement. Roger Moore came with 
his hundreds of slaves and built Orton, while Maurice ^Nloore 
selected a most admirable site on a bluff near Orton, fifteen 
miles below the present city of Wilmington, and laid out a 
town which he called Brunswick, in honor of the reigning 
fapaily. Brunswick quickly prospered, for a steady stream 
of population flowed in, and the trade of the river grew 
rapidly. In 1731 Dr. Brickell wrote in his Natural His- 
tory of North Carolina, "Brunswick has a great trade, a 
number of merchants and rich planters." At that early 
period forty-two vessels, carrying valuable cargoes, sailed 
from the port in one year. 

In its early years Brunswick was in Carteret Precinct, 
for when Carteret Precinct, as the counties were formerly 
called, was established in 1722, it ran down the coast to the 
unknown confines of jSTorth Carolina, and back into the 
wilderness without limitation. 

So the settlement at Brunswick, in 1725, was in Carteret, 
until New Hanover Precinct was established; and then it 
was in ISTew Hanover, which at first embraced tbe territory 
now in Duplin, Sampson, Bladen, and Brunswick Counties. 
It was not until shortly before the Revolution that Bruns- 
wick was cut off from ISTew Hanover. 


As the Cape Fear region was originally in Carteret Pre- 
cinct, some of the early grants and deeds for lands in New 
Hanover and Brunswick were registered at Beaufort, the 
county seat of Carteret. 


(Georgia Historical Papers, Vol. II, p. 54.) 

I intend after my return to Charleston to take a journey, 
by land, to Cape Fear in North Carolina, which I have 
heard so much talk of. * * * 

I set out from Charleston on the 10th of June, on my 
travels to Cape Fear, in North Carolina, in company with 
thirteen more, and the first night reached Mr, More's, in 
Goose Creek. * * * 

The next morning, just as we were setting out from 
thence, our tired horses came in, when we ordered them to 
be left there till further orders ; we left the boys behind to 
come after us as well as they could. We reached Little 
Charlotta by dinner time, which is about fifteen miles from 
Ash's, or Little River ; we dined there, and in the afternoon 
crossed the ferry, where we intended to sleep that night. 
We reached there about eight the same night, after having 
crossed the ferry. 

It is so named after one Lockwood, a Barbadian, who with 
several others attempted to settle it some time ago; but, by 
his cruel behavior to the Indians, they drove him from 
thence, and it has not been settled above ten years. '"We left 
Lockwood's Folly about eight the next morning, and by two 
reached the tovm of Brunswick, which is the chief town in 
Cape Fear; but with no more than two of the same horses 
which came with us out of South Carolina. We dined there 
that afternoon. Mr. Roger More hearing we were come, was 
so kind as to send fresh horses for us to come up to his 
house, which we did, and were kindly received by him; he 
being the chief gentleman in all Cape Fear. His house is 
built of brick, and exceedingly pleasantly situated about two 


miles from the town, and about half a mile from the river; 
though there is a creek comes close up to the door, between 
two beautiful meadows about three miles length. He has a 
prospect of the town of Brunswick, and of another beautiful 
brick house, a building about half a mile from him, belonging 
to Eleazar Allen, Esq., late speaker to the Commons House 
of Assembly, in the pro.vince of South Carolina. There 
were several vessels lying about the town of Brunswick, but 
I shall forbear giving a description of that place ; yet on the 
20th of June we left Mr. Roger More's, accompanied by his 
brother, Nathaniel More, Esq., to a plantation of his, up 
the northwest branch of Cape Fear River. The river is 
wonderfully pleasant, being, next to Savannah, the finest on 
all the continent. ^ 

We reached the Forks, as they call it, that same night, 
where the river divides into two very beautiful branches, 
called the l^ortheast and the Northwest, passing by several 
pretty plantations on both sides. We lodged that night at 
one Mr. Jehu Davis's, and the next morning, proceeded up 
the Northwest branch; when we got about two miles from 
thence, we came to a beautiful plantation, belonging to Cap- 
tain Gabriel, who is a great merchant there, where were two 
ships, two sloops, and a brigantine, loaded with lumber for 
the West Indies : it is about twenty-two miles from the bar ; 
when we came about four miles higher up, we saw an open- 
ing on the northeast side of us, which is called Black River, 
on which there is a great deal of good meadow land, but 
there is not any one settled on it. 

The next night we came to another plantation belonging to 
Mr. Roger More, called the Blue Banks, where he is a going 
to build another very large brick house. This bluff is at 
least a hundred feet high, and has a beautiful prospect 
over a fine large meadow, on the opposite side of the 
river; the houses are all built on the southwest side of the 
river, it being for the most part high champaign land: the 
other side is very much subject to overflow, but I cannot learn 
they have lost but one crop. I am credibly informed they 


have very commonly fourscore bushels of corn on an acre of 
their overflowed land. It very rarely overflows but in the 
winter time, when their crop is o.ff. I must confess I saw 
the finest com growing there that I ever saw in my life, as 
likewise wheat and hemp. We lodged there that night at 
one Captain Gibb's, adjoining to Mr. More's plantation, 
where we met with very good entertainment. The next 
morning we left his house, and proceeded up the said river to 
a plantation belonging to Mr. John Davis, where we dined. 
The plantations on this river are very much alike as to the 
situation; but there are many more improvements on some 
than on others ; this house is built after the Dutch fashion, 
and made to front both ways — on the river, and on the land, 
he has a beautiful avenue cut through the woods for above 
two miles, which is a great addition to the house. We left 
his house about two in the afternoon, and the same evening 
reached Mr. Nathaniel More's plantation, which is reckoned 
forty miles from Brunswick. It is likewise a very pleasant 
place on a bluff upwards of sixty feet high. I forebore men- 
tioning any thing either as to the goodness or the badness 
of the land in my passage from South Carolina, it being, in 
short, nothing but a sandy bank from Winneaw Ferry to 
Brunswick ; and, indeed, the town itself is not much better 
at present: it is that which has given this place such a bad 
name on account of the land, it being the only road to South 
Carolina, from the northern part of the continent, and as 
there are a great many travellers from New York, New 
England, &c., who go to Charleston, having been asked what 
sort of land they have in Cape Fear, have not stuck out to 
say that it is all a mere sand bank ; but let those gentlemen 
take a view of the rivers, and they will soon be convinced to 
the contrary, as well as myself, who, must confess, till then 
was of their opinion, but now am convinced by ocular dem- 
onstration, for I have not so much as seen one foot of bad 
land since my leaving Brunswick. About three days after 
my arrival at Mr. More's, there came a sloop of one hundred 
tons, and upward, from South Carolina, to be laden with 


com, which is sixty miles at least from the bar. I never yet 
heard of any man who was ever at the head of that river, but 
they tell me the higher you go up the better the land, and 
the river grows wider and wider. There are people settled 
at least forty miles higher up, but indeed the tide does not 
flow, at the most, above twenty miles higher. Two days 
after, I was taken very ill of an agTie and fever, which con- 
tinued on me for near a month, in which time my com- 
panions left me, and returned to South Carolina. When 
I began to recover my health a little, I mentioned to Mr. 
More the gTeat desire I had to see Waccamaw Lake, as I 
had heard so much talk of it, and been myself a great way up 
the river, that I was sure by the course of the country, I could 
not be above twenty miles from thence, he told me he had a 
negro fellow, who he thought could carry me to it, and that 
he would accompany me himself, vsdth some others of his 
acquaintance. On the 18th of July we set out from his 
house on horseback, with every one his gun, and took the 
negro with us. We rode about four miles on a direct course 
through an open pine barren, when we came to a large 
cane swamp, about half a mile through, which we crossed in 
about an hour's time, but I was astonished to see the innu- 
merable sight of musquetoes, and the largest that I ever saw 
in my life, for they made nothing to fetch blood of us 
through our buckskin gloves, coats, and jackets. As soon as 
we got through that swamp, we came to another open pine 
barren, where we saw a great herd of deer, the largest and 
fattest that ever I saw in those parts : we made shift to kill 
a brace of them, which we made a hearty dinner on. We 
rode about two miles farther, when we came to another cane 
swamp, where we shot a large she-bear and two cubs. It was 
so large that it was with great difficulty we got through it. 
When we got on the other side, it began to rain very hard, 
or otherwise, as far as I know, we might have shot ten 
brace of deer, for they were almost as thick as in the parks in 
England, and did not seem to be in the least afraid of us, 
for I question much whether they had ever seen a man in 


their lives before, for they seemed to look on us as amazed. 
We made shift as well as we could to reach the lake the same 
night, but had but little pleasure ; it continued to rain very 
hard, we made a large fire of lightwood, and slept as well as 
we could that night. The next morning we took a par- 
ticular view of it, and I think it is the pleasantest place that 
ever I saw in my life. It is at least eighteen miles round, 
surrounded with exceedingly good land, as oak of all sorts, 
hickory, and fine cypress swamps. There is an old Indian 
field to be seen, which shows it was formerly inhabited by 
them, but I believe not within these fifty years, for there is 
scarce one of the Cape Fear Indians, or the Waccumaws, 
that can give any account of it. There is plenty of deer, 
wild turkeys, geese, and ducks, and fish in abundance; we 
shot sufficient to serve forty men, though there were but six 
of us. We went almost round it, but there is on the north- 
east side a small cypress swamp, so deep that we could not 
go through it ; we returned back again on a direct line, being 
resolved to find how far it was on a straight course from the 
northwest branch of Cape Fear River, which we found did 
not exceed ten miles. 

We returned back to Mr. More's that same night, having 
satisfied our curiosity, and the next morning set out with an 
intent to take a view of the northeast branch, on which 
there is a great deal of good land, but not in my opinion, 
for the generality, so good as on the northwest, but I think 
the river is much more beautiful. We lay that first night 
at Newtown, in a small hut, and the next day reached Rocky 
Point, which is the finest place in all Cape Fear. There are 
several very worthy gentlemen settled there, particularly 
Colonel Maurice More, Captain Heme, John Swan, Esq., 
and several others. We stayed there one night, and the 
next morning set out on horseback to take a view of the 
land backward, imagining that there might be only a skirt of 
good land on the river, but I am sure I rode for about twenty 
miles back, through nothing but black walnut, oak, and 
hickory; we returned the same night to Rocky Point, and 


the next morning set out for a plantation belonging to Mr. 
John Davis, within six miles of Brunswick, where I was a 
second time taken ill, so that I thought I should have died ; 
but by the providence of God, and the care of good Mrs. 
Davis, I recovered in a fortnight's time, so that I was able 
to set out on my journey to South Carolina. I took leave 
of that worthy family on the 10th of August, when she was 
so kind as to force me to take a bottle of shrub, and several 
other things with me. I reached Mr. Roger More's the same 
night, where I was again handsomely received, but being 
resolved to set out on my journey the next morning, he gener- 
ously offered me a horse to carry me to the house where I 
was obliged to leave mine on the road, as likewise a servant 
to attend me, which I refused. I left his house the next 
morning, being the 11th of August, at half an hour after 
seven, and reached Brunswick by eight. I set out from 
thence about nine, and about four miles from thence met my 
landlord of Lockwood's Folly, who was in hopes I would 
stay at his house all night. * * * 

"When I was about half way over the bay, I intended to 
stop at the next spring and take a tiff of punch ; but by some 
unfortunate accident, I know not how, when I came within 
sight of the spring, my bottle unluckily broke, and I lost 
every drop of my shrub; but examining my bags, I acci- 
dentally found a bottle of cherry brandy, with some ginger- 
bread and cheese, which I believe good Mrs. More ordered 
to be put up unknown to me. I drank two drams of that, 
not being willing it should all be lost in case it should 
break, and mounting my horse, took some gingerbread and 
cheese in my hand and pursued my journey. 


I reached Witton's by noon, and had my possum dressed 
for dinner. * * * I arrived at Charleston on the Yth day 
of August, where I remained till the 23d of November, when 
I set sail for England and arrived safe in London on the 3d 
of January, 1734-5. 



In the cove near Governor Trjon's residence, still knoAvn 
as Governor's Cove, were anchored in Colonial times His 
Majesty's sloops Viper, Diligence, and Cruiser; and the 
frigate Rose, a prison ship, was anchored in the stream. 
This roadstead proved to be unsafe in stormy weather, and 
because of that fact and of the growth of a village 15 miles 
farther up the river called New Liverpool, afterwards New- 
ton, and lastly Wilmington, which absorbed the trade of the 
two branches of the river near that point, and prospered, 
a gradual exodus from Brunswick began and continued; so 
that while Wilmington flourished and became the capital of 
the Province, Brunswick dwindled and during the Revolu- 
tionary War was wholly abandoned. 

In 1731 John Maultsby took out a warrant for 640 acres 
of land opposite the " thoroughfare," and John Watson 
located a similar warrant adjoining and below that. In 
1732 a few enterprising men settled on Maultsby's grant for 
trade, and called the place New Liverpool. The next spring 
Michael Higgins, Joshua Granger, James Wimble and John 
Watson joined in laying off a town on Watson's entry, which 
they called Newton. 

Governor Gabriel Johnston arrived in November, 1734, 
and he at once espoused the cause of Newton as against 
Brunswick, the older town. He bought land near Newton 
and led his friends to do so. Determined to give it im- 
portance, he ordered that the council should meet there, and 
also that the courts should be held there instead of at 
Brunswick ; and, indeed, as a sort of advertisement, he made 
May 13, 1735, a gala day for the village. On that day he 
had the land office opened there, also the Court of Exchequer 
to meet there, as well as the New Hanover Court, and, like- 
wise, the council. Then he sought to have the village incor- 
porated, under the name of Wilmington. For a brief time 
the influence of Brunswick prevailed against him; but he 
finally succeeded. 


The Act of Incorporation,^ passed in 1739 by the Assembly, 
is as follows : 

An Act, for erecting the village called I^ewton, in New 
Hanover County, into a town and township, by the name of 
Wilmington; and regulating and ascertaining the bounds 

Section 1. Whereas, several merchants, tradesmen, ar- 
tificers, and other persons of good substance, have settled 
themselves at a village called Newton, lying on the east 
branch of Cape Fear; and whereas, the said village by rea- 
son of its convenient situation at the meeting of the two 
great branches of Cape Fear River, and likewise, by reason 
of the depth of water, capable of receiving vessels of con- 
siderable burthen, safety of its roads beyond any other part 
of the river, and the secure and easy access from all parts 
of the different branches of the said river, is, upon all those 
and many other accounts, more proper for being erected into 
a town or township, than any other part of the said river. 

Sec. 2. Be it therefore enacted by His Excellency Gabriel 
Johnston, Esq., Governor, by and with the advice and con- 
sent of His Majesty's Council and General Assembly of 
this province, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of 
the same, that the village heretofore called Newton, lying 
on the east side of the northeast branch of Cape Fear River, 
in New Hanover County, shall, from and after the passage 
of this Act, be a town and township, and the said village is 
hereby established a town and township by the name of 
Wilmington, the bounds whereof shall be and are circum- 
scribed in manner follo,wing: That is to say, to the north- 
east, by the lands of His Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq. ; 
upwards and below, by the lands of Michael Dyer; to the 
westward by the northeast branch of Cape Fear River; and 
to the eastward, by a line drawn between the said lands of 
His Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq. ; and Michael Dyer, 
one hundred and twenty poles distant from the river. 

iSwann's Collections Public Acts, North Carolina, Chapter LV, 
page 99. 


Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore- 
said, that forever, after passing of this Act, the inhabitants 
of and near the said town, qualified as hereinafter mentioned 
shall have the privilege of choosing one representative for the 
said tovm, to sit and vote in General Assembly. 

Sec. 4. And for ascertaining the method of choosing the 
said representative, be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, that every tenant of any brick, stone, or framed 
inhabitable house, of the length of twenty feet, and sixteen 
feet wide, within the bounds of the said town, who, at the 
day of election, and for three months next before, inhabited 
such house, shall be entitled to vote in the election for the 
Eepresentative of the said town, to be sent to the General 
Assembly, and in case there shall be no tenant of such 
house in the said town, on the day of election, qualified to 
vote as aforesaid, that then, and in such case, the person 
seized of such house, either in fee-simple, or fee-tail, or for 
term of life, shall be entitled to vote for the Representative 

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore- 
said, that every person who, on the day of election, and for 
three months next before, shall be in actual possession or an 
inhabitant of a brick house, of the length of thirty feet, and 
sixteen feet wide, between the bounds of the said town 
upwards, and Smith Creek, and within one hundred and 
twenty poles of the northeast branch of Cape Fear River, 
shall be entitled to, and have a vote in the election of a Rep^ 
resentative for the said toiwn (unless such person be a serv- 
ant), and shall, as long as he continues an inhabitant of 
such house, within the said bounds, enjoy all the rights, 
privileges, and immunities, to which any inhabitant within 
the said town shall be entitled, by virtue of said Act. 

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore- 
said, that no person shall be deemed qualified to be a Repre- 
sentative for the said to,wn, to sit in the General Assembly, 
unless, on the day of election, he be, and for three months 
next before, was seized, in fee-simple, or for the term of life, 


of a brick, stone or framed house of the dimensions afore- 
said, with one or more brick chimney or chimnies. 

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore- 
said, that forever, after the passing of this Act, the court of 
the co.unty of New Hanover, and the election of the Repre- 
sentatives to be sent to the General Assembly, and the elec- 
tion of Vestrymen, and all other public elections, of what 
kind or nature soever, for the said county and town, shall 
be held and made in the town of Wilmington, and at no other 
place whatsoever, any law, statute, usage, or custom, to the 
contrary, notwithstanding. 

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore- 
said, that from and after the passing of this Act, the Col- 
lector and Naval OflScers of the port of Brunswick (of which 
port the said town of Wilmington is the most central and con- 
venient place, both for exportation and importation, by 
reason of its navigation and situation), shall constantly 
reside in the said town, and there keep their respective 
offices, until his Majesty shall be pleased to give his direc- 
tions to the contrary. And likewise, the Clerk of the Court 
of the County of New Hanover, and the Register of the said 
co.unty, shall constantly hold and execute their respective 
offices in the said town of Wilmington ; and that if either 
of the said officers neglect or refuse so to do, he so neglect- 
ing or refusing, shall, for every month he shall be a de- 
linquent, forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds proclama- 
tion money ; to be sued for and recovered, by him who shall 
sue for the same, in the general court of this province, or in 
the county court of New Hanover, by action of debt, bill, 
plaint, or information, wherein no essoin, protection, injunc- 
tion, or wager of law shall be allowed, and one-half of such 
forfeiture shall be for the use of the person who sues for the 
same, and the other half shall be paid to the commissioners, 
for the time being, appointed for regulating the said town. 

Sec. 9. And for the due regulating the said town, be it 
further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that Robert 
Halton, James Murray, Samuel Woodard, William Farris, 


Richard Eagles, Jolm Porter and Eobert Walker, Esquires, 
are hereby established and appointed commissioners for the 
said town; and the said commissioners, or a majority of 
them, and their successors shall have, and be invested v^ith 
all powers and authorities within the bounds of the said 
town of Wilmington, in as full and ample manner, as the 
commissioners for the town of Edenton have or possess, by 
virtue of any law heretofore passed. 

Sec. 10. And whereas the justices of the County Court of 
New Hanover, at the court held at Brunswick, on Tuesday 
the eleventh day of December last, have imposed a tax of five 
shillings per poll, to be levied on the tithable inhabitants 
of the said county, between the first day of January, and the 
first day of March, one thousand seven hundred and thirty- 
nine ; and afterwards, one other tax of five shillings per poll, 
to be levied on the said inhabitants, between the first day of 
January and the first day of March, one thousand seven 
hundred and forty, towards building a courthouse and gaol 
in the town of Brunswick, for the said county. 

Sec. 11. Be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that 
the justices of the said County Court shall, and are hereby 
directed to apply the said levy or tax towards finishing and 
completing the courthouse already erected in the said town 
of Wilmington, and towards building a gaol in the said town. 

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, that if any one or more of the said commissioners 
shall die, or remove out of the county, that then and in 
such case, the surviving or remaining commissioners shall, 
within six months after the death or removal of such com- 
missioner, present to his Excellency the Governor or Com- 
mander in Chief for the time being, three persons, one of 
which the said Governor or Commander in Chief is hereby 
empowered to nominate and appoint; and the commissioners 
so appointed shall be invested with the same powers and 
authorities, as any commissioner nominated by this Act. 
Gabeiel Johnston^ Esq., Gov. 
William Smith, President. 
John Hodgson, Speaker. 



On November 20, 1740, a considerable force enlisted on 
the Cape Fear left Wilmington under the command of Capt. 
James Innes to fight the Spaniards at Carthagena; they 
were carried off by disease and but few returned. The next 
year the Spaniards in retaliation seized Ocracoke Inlet and 
committed tremendous depredations. And again, in 1744, 
they scoured the coast. Three years later, they made an- 
other foray. In July, 1747, they entered the Cape Fear, 
but the militia were prompt in meeting them, and held them 
in check, taking some prisoners. From there they went 
north, entered Beaufort Harbor, and, on August 26th, after 
several days' fighting, gained possession of the town. Em- 
boldened by this victory, they returned to the Cape Fear, 
and, on September 4, 1747, began to ascend the river. New 
Hanover County then included what has since become Bruns- 
wick, and the people from Duplin to Lockwood's Folly sprang 
to their horses and hurried to Brunswick. Eleazar Allen, 
Roger Moore, Edward Moseley, and William Forbes were 
appointed the commissioners to take measures for defense; 
while Maj. John Swann was invested with the immediate 
command of the troops. The companies of Capt. William 
Dry, Capt. John Ashe, and Capt. John Sampson, from 
the upper part of the county, alone numbered 300 men; so 
the defenders doubtless were about a thousand. On the 
6th, the Spaniards possessed themselves of Brunswick, and 
for four days the battle raged. At length, on September 
10th, one of the Spanish vessels was blo,wn up and the 
others were driven off. All that day Colonel Dry was bury- 
ing dead Spaniards, for a considerable number of them per- 
ished, and 29 were taken alive. It was from the destroyed 
vessel that the painting in the vestry room of St. James 
Church in Wilmington, "Ecce Homo.," was taken. The 
spoils from the wreck were appropriated for the use of the 
churches in Brunswick and Wilmington. 

Because of these incursions, a fort was built the next year 


to guard the river — Fort Johnston. It was garrisoned by 
companies raised in the vicinity, and some of the young 
officers trained to arms there afterwards became distinguished 
in the French and Indian wars and in the Revolution ; among 
them Generals James Moore and Robert Howe. 


In his admirable History of New Hanover County, a 
labor of love fo.r which the accomplished author never re- 
ceived the smallest compensation, the late Col. Alfred 
Moore Waddell describes sixty-six prominent plantations 
and their proprietors on the lower Cape Fear, in Colonial 
times. Of the manner of life of these planters, he says in 
A Colonial Officer and His Times: 

"In the Southern end of the Province, at Brunswick and 
Wilmington, and along the Cape Fear, there was an equally 
refined and cultivated society and some very remarkable 
men. No better society existed in America, and it is but 
simple truth to say that for classical learning, wit, oratory, 
and varied accomplishments, no generation of their succes- 
sors has equaled them. 

"Their hospitality was boundless and proverbial, and of 
the manner in which it was enjoyed there can be no counter- 
part in the present age. Some of them had town residences, 
but most of them lived on their plantations, and they were 
not the thriftless characters that by some means it became 
fashionable to assume all Southern planters were. There 
was much gayety and festivity among them, and some of 
them rode hard to hounds, but as a general rule they looked 
after their estates, and kept themselves as well informed 
in regard to what was going on in the world as the limited 
means of communication allowed. There was little display, 
but in almost every house could be found valuable plate, and, 
in some, excellent libraries. The usual mode of travel was 
on horseback, and in "gigs," or "chairs," which were ve- 
hicles without springs but hung on heavy straps, and to which 


one horse, and sometimes by young beaux, two horses, tan- 
dem, were driven ; a mounted servant rode behind, or, if the 
gig was occupied by ladies, beside the horse. The family 
coach was mounted by three steps, and had great carved 
leather springs, with baggage rack behind, and a high, nar- 
row driver's seat and box in front. The gentlemen wore 
clubbed and powdered queues and knee-breeches, with 
buckled lo.w-quartered shoes, and many carried gold or silver 
snuffboxes which, being first tapped, were handed with 
grave courtesy to their acquaintances when passing the com- 
pliments of the day. There are persons still living who 
remember seeing these things in their early youth. The 
writer of these lines himself remembers seeing in his child- 
hood the decaying remains of old "chairs" and family 
coaches, and knew at that time several old negroes who had 
been body servants in their youth to the proprietors of these 
ancient vehicles. It is no wonder they sometimes drove the 
coaches four-in-hand. It was not only grand style, but the 
weight of the vehicle and the character of the roads made it 

''During the period embraced in these pages, four-wheeled 
pleasure vehicles were rare, and even two-wheeled ones were 
not common, except among the town nabobs and well-to-do 
planters. The coaches, or chariots, as a certain class of 
vehicles was called, were all imported from England, and 
the possession of such a means of locomotion was evidence of 
high social position. It was less than twenty years before 
the period named, that the first stage wagon in the Colonies, 
in 1738, was run from Trenton to ISTew Brunswick, in !N'ew 
Jersey, twice a week, and the advertisement of it assured 
the public that it would be fitted up with benches and 
covered over 'so that passengers may sit easy and dry.' " 

Some of the prominent lower Cape Fear men of Colonial 
and Revolutionary days were. Governor Burrington, of Gov- 
ernor's Point; G^n. Eobert Howe, of Howe's Point; Na- 
thaniel Moore, of York; Gov. Arthur Dobbs, of Russell- 
boro; all below Orton. "King" Roger Moore, of Orton; 


James Smith, of Kendal ; Eleazar Allen, of Lilliput ; John 
Moore, of Pleasant Oaks; Nathaniel Rice, of Old Town 
Creek; John Baptista Ashe, of Spring Garden, afterwards 
called Grovely; Chief Justice Hasell, of Belgrange; 
Schencking Moore, of Hullfields; John Davis, of Davis 
Plantation; John Dalrymple (who commanded Fort John- 
ston), of Dalrymple Place; John Ancrum, of Old Town; 
Marsden Campbell, of Clarendon; Richard Eagles, of The 
Forks; Judge Alfred Moore, of Buchoi; John Waddell, of 
Belville; Gov. Benjamin Smith, of Belvidere. These were 
all below Wilmington. Many others equally important 
resided on their plantations above Wilmington. All are re- 
corded in Colonel Waddell's History of New Hanover 
County, but these are mentioned here in support of the state- 
ment that the Cape Fear planters of olden time were men of 


In McRee's valuable Life and Correspondence of James 
Iredell, that gifted Wilmingtonian said : 

"Mr. Hooper was nine years Mr. Iredell's senior, and 
already a man of mark at the bar and in the Assembly. To 
estimate at its full value his deference to Iredell, these facts 
must be borne in mind. Mr. Hooper was a native of Boston, 
and a graduate of Cambridge, Mass. After studying law 
wdth James Otis, he removed to North Carolina, in 1764. 
He became a citizen of Wilmington. That tovm and its 
vicinity was noted for its unbounded hospitality and the ele- 
gance of its society. Men of rare talents, fortune, and at- 
tainment, united to render it the home of politeness, and 
ease, and enjoyment. Though the footprint of the Indian 
had, as yet, scarcely been effaced, the higher civilization 
of the Old World had been transplanted there, and had 
taken vigorous root. There were Col. John Ashe (subse- 
quently General Ashe), the great popular leader, whose ad- 
dress was consummate, and whose quickness of apprehension 


seemed intuition, the very Rupert of debate; Samuel Ashe, 
of stalwart frame, endowed with practical good sense, a 
profound knowledge of human nature, and an energy that 
eventually raised him to the Bench and the post of Gov- 
ernor; Harnett (afterwards President of the Provincial 
Council), 'who could boast a genius for music and taste for 
letters,' the representative man of the Cape Fear; Dr. John 
Eustace, the correspondent of Sterne, 'who united wit, and 
genius, and learning, and science' ; Col. Thomas Boyd, 
'gifted with talents, and adorned with classical literature' ; 
Howe (afterwards General Howe), 'whose imagination fasci- 
nated, whose repartee overpowered, and whose conversation 
was enlivened by strains of exquisite raillery' ; Dr. John 
Fergus, of stately presence, with velvet coat, cocked hat, and 
gold headed cane, a graduate of Edinburgh, and an excellent 
Latin and Greek scholar; Wm. Pennington (Comptroller of 
the Customs, and afterwards Master of the Ceremonies at 
Bath), 'an elegant writer, admired for his wit, and his 
highly polished urbanity' ; Judge Maurice Moore, of 'ver- 
satile talents, and possessed of extensive information, as a 
wit, always prompt in reply ; as an orator, always daring 
the mercy of chance' ; Maclaine, irascible, but intellectual, 
who trod the path of honor early pari passu with Iredell and 
Hooper and Johnston, and 'whose criticisms on Shakes- 
peare would, if they were published, give him fame and 
rank in the republic of letters' ; William Hill, 'a most sensi- 
ble, polite gentleman, and though a Crown officer, replete 
with sentiments of general liberty, and warmly attached to 
the cause of American Freedom' ; Lillington, destined soon at 
Moore's Creek to render his name historical ; James Moore, 
whose subsequent appointment as major general, and whose 
promises of a brilliant career wero^soon to be terminated by 
a premature death; Lewis Henry DeRosset, member of the 
Council, a cultivated and elegant gentleman; Adam Boyd, 
editor of the Cape Fear Mercury (subsequently chaplain 
to the Continental Line), 'who, without pretensions to wit or 
humor, possessed the rare art of telling a story with spirit 


and grace, and whose elegiac numbers afforded a striking 
contrast to the vivid brilliancy of the scenes in which he 
figured'; Alfred Moore, subsequently an associate justice of 
the Supreme Court of the United States; Timothy Blood- 
worth, stigmatized by his enemies as an impracticable radi- 
cal, 'everything by turns,' but withal a true exponent of the 
instincts and prejudices, the finest feelings and the noblest 
impulses of the masses. These were no ordinary men. 
They were of the remarkable class that seem ever to be the 
product of crises in human affairs. Though inferior to 
many of them in the influence that attends years, opulence, 
and extensive connections, yet in scholarship and genius, Mr. 
Hooper was preeminent. I use the word genius in contra- 
distinction to talent. He had much nervous irritability, was 
imaginative and susceptible. With a well-disciplined mind, 
and of studious habits, he shone with lustre whenever he 
pleased to exert himself." 

To the above we add the name of Lieut. Thomas Godfrey, 
who having served in the War against the French at the 
ISTorth, in 1760, at the age of 23, moved from Philadelphia 
and located at Wilmington. His father is distinguished as 
the inventor of Hadley's quadrant. He himself possessed 
the creative faculty in an eminent degree, and he was a poet 
and well versed in literature. His poem. The Court of Fancy, 
and his elegies and pastorals are said to have remarkable 
beauty. But he is distinguished above all as being the author 
of the first American drama, a tragedy. The Prince of Par- 
thia, written at Wilmington. He doubtless enjoyed congenial 
association with Hooper, Maclaine, Moore and others on the 
Cape Fear ; but unhappily his career was cut short from over 
exertion in swimming in the river, on August 3, 1763, at the 
early age of 26 years. 



Many of the old homesteads described by Colonel Waddell 
have fallen into decay and some of the residences have en- 
tirely disappeared, but Orton, on the lovp^er Cape Fear River, 
still stands as it did in Colonial days, when it was the home 
of "King" Roger Moore, of Gov. Benjamin Smith, of Rich- 
ard Quince, and in later years of Dr. Fred J. Hill and Col. 
Kenneth McKenzie Murchison, 

It is a majestic domain of more than ten thousand acres, 
and the house is still regarded by competent critics as one of 
the finest examples of pure Colonial architecture in America. 

The lordly residence of Chief Justice Eleazar Allen, upon 
the adjacent plantation of Lilliput, which was distinguished 
in his day by a large and liberal hospitality, has long since 
disappeared, but the gi*and old oaks which lifted their ma- 
jestic branches to the soft south breezes in Colonial times, 
still sing their murmured requiem above a "boundless con- 
tiguity of shade." 

Here, upon the banks of our historic river, which stretches 
two miles to the eastern shore, is heard the booming of the 
broad Atlantic as it sweeps in its might and majesty from 
Greenland to the Gulf. Along the shining beach, from 
Fort Fisher to Fort Caswell, its foaming breakers run and 
roar, the racing steeds of iN'eptune, with their white-crested 
manes, charging and reforming for the never-ending fray. 

The adjacent plantation of Kendal, originally owned by 
"King" Roger Moore, from whom it passed to his descend- 
ants, was later the property of James Smith, a brother of 
Gov. Benjamin Smith, and it was here, near the banks of 
Orton Creek, which divides this estate from the splendid 
domain of Orton, that the quarrel between the Smith broth- 
ers ended by the departure of James to South Carolina 
(where, assuming his mother's name, Rhett, he became the 
founder of the famous Rhett family), leaving his intolerant 
and choleric brother, Benjamin, to a succession of misfor- 
tunes, disappointments, and distresses, which brought him at 


last to a pauper's grave. Aide-de-camp to Washington, a 
general of the State Militia, a governor of the State, a bene- 
factor of the University — he became a melancholy example 
of public ingratitude. 

Behind Kendal is McKenzie's milldam, the scene of a 
battle between the British troops and the minute men from 
Brunswick and Wilmington, when, in 1775, the British fleet 
lay in the river. 

We linger at Orton, the most attractive of all the old 
Colonial estates on the Cape Fear. For a hundred and 
eighty-nine years it has survived the vicissitudes of war, pes- 
tilence, and famine, and it still maintains its reputation 
of Colonial days for a refined and generous hospitality. 
Here, in the exhilaration of the hunter, the restful seclusion 
of the angler, the quiet quest of the naturalist, the peaceful 
contemplation of the student, is found surcease from the 
vanities and vexations of urban life. For nearly two cen- 
turies it has been a haven of rest and recreation to its 
favored guests. 

"Here, like the hush of evening calm on hearts opprest, 

In silence falls the healing balm of quiet rest, 
And softly from the shadows deep 
The grand oaks sing the soul to sleep 
On Nature's breast." 

The house, or Hall, built by "King" Eoger Moore in 1725, 
with its stately white pillars gleaming in the sunshine 
through the surrounding forest, is a most pleasing vista to 
the passing mariner. The river view, stretching for ten 
miles southward and eastward, includes "Big Sugar Loaf," 
Fort Anderson, Fort Buchanan, and Fort Fisher. 

We love its traditions and its memories, for no sorrow 
came to us there. The primeval forest with its dense under- 
growth of dogwood blossoms, which shine with the bright- 
ness of the falling snow; the thickets of Cherokee roses, 
which surpass the most beautiful of other regions ; the bril- 
liant carpet of wild azaleas, the golden splendor of the 
yellow jessamine, the modest drosera, the man^elous dionea 
mucipula, and the trumpet saracenias ; the river drive to the 


white beach, from which are seen the distant breakers; the 
secluded spot in the wilderness commanding a wide view 
of an exquisite landscape, where, safe from intrusion, we 
sat upon a sheltered seat beneath the giant pines and heard 
the faint "jo ho" of the sailor, outward bound ; a place apart 
for holy contemplation when the day is far spent, where the 
overhanging branches cast the shadow of a cross, and where, 
later, through the interlacing foliage, the star of hope is 
shining; the joyful reception at the big house, the spacious 
hall with its ample hearth and blazing oak logs ; around it, 
after the bountiful evening meal, the old songs sung and the 
old tales told, and fun and frolic to keep dull care beyond 
the threshold. 

Through the quiet lanes of Orton to the ruins of the Pro- 
vincial Governor Tryon's palace is half a mile. Here is the 
cradle of American independence; for upon this spot, until 
recently hidden by a dense undergi'owth of timber, occurred, 
between six and seven o'clock on the evening of the 19th of 
February, 1766, the first open resistance to the British 
Stamp Act in the American colonies, by 450 armed men, 
who surrounded the palace and demanded the surrender of 
the custodian of the obno:xious symbols of the King's au- 

Ten minutos' walk farther down brings us to the ruins of 
the Colonial Parish Church of St. Philip, the scene of many 
notable incidents and the resting place of the early pioneers. 
It was built by the citizens of Brunwick, and, principally, 
by the landed gentry, abo,ut the year 1740. In the year 
1751, Mr. Lewis Henry DeRosset, a member of Gov. Gabriel 
Johnston's council, and subsequently an expatriated Royalist, 
introduced a bill appropriating to St. Philip's Church at 
Brunswick and to St. James' Church at Wilmington, equally, 
a fund that was realized by the capture and destruction 
of a pirate vessel, which, in a squadron of Spanish buc- 
caneers, had entered the river and plundered the plantations. 
A picture, "Ecce Homo," captured from this pirate ship, 
is still preserved in the vestry room of St. James' Church 


in Wilmington. The walls of St. PMlip's Churcli are 
nearly three feet thick, and are solid and almost intact 
still, while the roof and floor have disappeared. It must 
have possessed much architectural beauty and massive 
grandeur, with its high-pitched roof, its lofty doors, and its 
beautiful chancel windows. 

A little to the west, surrounded by a forest of pines, lies 
Liberty Pond, a beautiful lake of clear spring water, once 
stained with the blood of friend and foe in a deadly conflict 
— hence its traditional name. It is now a most restful, tran- 
quil spot, with its profound stillness, the beach of snow 
white sand, the unbroken surface of the lake reflecting the 
foliage and the changing sky line. 

Turning to the southeast, we leave the woodland and reach 
a bluff upon the river bank, still known as Howe's Point, 
where the Eevolutionary patriot and soldier. Gen. Eobert 
Howe, was bom and reared. His residence, long since a 
ruin, was a large frame building on a stone or brick founda- 
tion, still remembered as such by several aged citizens of 

A short distance from the Howe place, the writer found 
some years ago, in the woods and upon a commanding site 
near the river, under many layers of pine straw, the clearly 
defined ruins of an ancient fort, which was undoubtedly of 
Colonial origin. Mr. Keynolds, who lived at his place 
near by, said that his great grandfather informed him forty 
years ago that long before the War of the Revolution this 
fort was erected by the Colonial Government for the protec- 
tion of the colonists against buccaneers. 

Hence to the staid old county seat is a journey of an hour; 
it was originally known as Fort Johnston, a fortification 
named for the Colonial Governor, Gabriel Johnston. It 
was established about the year 1748 for the protection of the 
river settlement from the threatened attacks of the Spaniards. 
The adjacent hamlet was subsequently called Smith ville, in 
honor of Benjamin Smith, to whom reference has been made, 
who had behaved with conspicuous gallantry under Moultrie 


when lie drove the British from Port Royal, and who was 
subsequently elected fifteen times to the Senate and became 
Governor of the Commonwealth in 1810. By recent au- 
thority of the State Legislature the name has been changed 
to Southport, In the old courthouse, which is its principal 
building, may be seen the evidence that on the death of Mr. 
Allen, the 17th of January, 1749, aged 57 years, of Lilliput, 
where he was buried, that plantation became the property 
(and, it is said, the residence for a brief period) of the great- 
grandson of Oliver Cromwell, Sir Thomas Frankland, Ad- 
miral of the White in the British Navy, and Commander of 
the frigate Rose. 

In connection with the inscription on Chief Justice 
Allen's tomb — that he died in January, 1749 — it is to be 
noted that in December, 1749, he was acting as Chief Justice. 
At that period the calendar year began and ended in March, 
so that January, 1749, followed December of that year. The 
alteration in the calendar was made by Act of Parliament in 
1751. ^ 


A stately mansion girt by God's great woods, 

Each clod of earth a friend to me and mine. 

Each room a home within the one vast home, 

Where naught of all its perfect pomp 

Can mar the sweet simplicity and ease of entertainment. 

There dwells the warmth of generous hospitality 

That counts no act a favor and no gift a sacrifice. 

There sordid things and anxious cares come not. 

No strangers' words or presence there intrude. 

There love of life — clean, wholesome, healthful life — prevails. 

And there the peace of God pervades 

Each hour of perfect day and night. 

One day within its woods, 

One night beneath its roof, 

To tired body gives a newborn vigor. 

To wearied mind a keen creative power. 

To the soul a sense of clean, sweet peace, 

And to the hour of regretful leaving 

A loving and lasting benediction. 

Rev. Richard W. Eogue. 



It is to be much regretted that so few memorials of the 
social and intellectual life of the old Cape Fear people have 
been preserved. They enjoyed the elegance that attends 
wealth and they possessed libraries that bespeak culture. 

When Edward Moseley was passing through Charleston in 
1703, he was employed to make a catalogue of the library 
books there ; and, on locating in Albemarle, he at once began 
the collection of a library. Later, he presented a library to 
the town of Edenton. When, about 1735, he removed to 
Rocky Point and built Moseley Hall, he brought his library 
with him. 

But, perhaps, superior to Moseley's was the library of 
Eleazar Allen, at Lilliput. The inventory of this collection 
of books has been preserved. Made at his death, about 1749, 
it shows over three hundred volumes in English and Latin, 
including the standard works of that era — the classics, 
poetry, history, works of fiction, as well as works of a re- 
ligious nature; and then, besides, some fifty in French, not 
only histories, travels, poetry, and fiction, but also French 
translations of the most celebrated Latin authors. One finds 
in that atmosphere a culture unsurpassed elsewhere in 

The Hasells likewise had a good library; also Judge 
Maurice Moore; and Gen. John Ashe had one he prized 
so highly that he made special efforts to preserve it, but un- 
fortunately it was destroyed during the last year of the 
Revolutionary War. 

While there were libraries at the homes of the gentlemen 
in the country, at Wilmington there was the Cape Fear 
Library, one volume of which, at least, has been preserved — 
a volume of Shakespeare, with notes made by Archibald 
Maclaine, of Wilmington, a nephew of the historian Mosher, 
which are of unusual merit. Many of the Rocky Point 
books appear to have been collected at Lillington Hall, and 
others have been preserved in the Hasell collection. A part 


of tlie Hasell collection, embracing books of Moseley printed 
before 1700, of Alexander Lillington, and of others, have 
been placed in the State Library at Raleigh. 


I have before me the original book of entries and clear- 
ances of his Britannic Majesty's Custom House at the port of 
Brunswick, in the Province of North Carolina, beginning 
with A. D. 1773, in the reign of George III, and running 
for three years. It is strongly bound in leather, somewhat 
injured by abuse for other purposes during Revolutionary 
times, but it contains in fine, legible handwriting, wonder- 
fully well preserved, a record of over three hundred vessels, 
with the particulars of their cargoes and crews. Among the 
names of the trading vessels, some of which are remarkable, 
are the brig Orton, the brig Wilmington, and the schooner 
Bakes Delight. 

Some of the cargoes are significant; 20 negroes, 50 hogs- 
heads of rum, 1,000 bags salt, etc. The outward cargoes to 
ports in the Provinces, to the West Indies, and to London, 
Bristol, and other distant destinations, were mostly lumber, 
staves, tar, indigo, rice, corn, wheat, and tobacco. 

The full-rigged ship Ulysses, Captain Wilson, brought 
from Glasgow, Scotland, October 18, 1773, to Brunswick, 
furniture, leather, saddles, earthenware, shoes, linen, hats, 
gunpowder, silks, glass, iron, lead, and "shott," also port wine, 
rugs, toys, and household articles. 

Other Scotch brigs, notably the Baliol, brought many set- 
tlers to the Cape Fear, most of whom went farther up to 
Cross Creek, now Fayetteville. Among these was the dis- 
tinguished lady. Flora Macdonald. 

There are no available records of trade and commerce per- 
taining to Brunswick or to the new settlement at Wilming- 
ton. It appears, however, that many of the plantations 
established sawmills from which lumber, along with the 


products of the farms, was shipped in plantation "brigs and 
schooners to distant ports. At Orton a large sawmill was 
run by water power, and vessels were loaded in the river 
opposite the mill with lumber, rice, and indigo. 


(Extracts from an Address Delivered by Captain S. A. Ashe before the North 
Carolina Society of Colonial Dames at Old Brunswick, N. C.) 

But when the next year a bill was introduced to carry the 
resolution into effect, it met with considerable opposition 
in the House of Commons, for the protests of the Colonists 
were not unheeded. Still, the ministry, under Lord Bute, 
persisted, and the measure was carried. All America was 
at once stirred. Bold and courageous action was taken in 
every Colony, but in none was a more resolute spirit mani- 
fested than here upon the Cape Pear. The Governor was 
Tryon, who had but lately succeeded to that office. He was 
an officer of the Army, a gentleman by birth and education, 
a man calculated by his accomplishments and social qualities 
to shine in any community. He sought the Speaker of the 
House, and asked him what would be the action of the 
people. "Eesistance to the death," was the prompt reply. 
That was a warning that was full of meaning. It pledged 
the Speaker to revolution and war in defense of the people's 

The Assembly was to meet in May, 1Y65. But Tryon 
astutely postponed the meeting until IsTovember, and then 
dissolved the Assembly. He did not wish the members to 
meet, confer, consult, and arrange a plan of opposition. He 
hoped by dealing with gentlemen, not in an official capacity, 
to disarm their antagonism and persuade them to a milder 
course. Vain delusion ! The people had been too long 
trained to rely with confidence on their leaders to abandon 
them now, even though Parliament demanded their obedi- 

The first movement was not long delayed. Within two 


montlis after the news had come that the odious act had been 
passed, the people of North Carolina discarded from their 
use all clothes of British manufacture and set up looms for 
weaving their o^vn clothes. Since Great Britain was to 
oppress them, thej would give the world an assurance of the 
spirit of independence that would sustain them in the strug- 
gle. In October information was received that Doctor 
Houston, of Duplin County, had been selected in England 
as Stamp-Master. At once proceedings were taken to nul- 
lify the appointment. At that time Wilmington had less 
than 500 white inhabitants, but her citizens were very 
patriotic and very resolute. 

Rocky Point, fifteen miles to the northward, had been the 
residence of Maurice Moore, of Speaker Moseley, Speaker 
Swann, and Speaker Ashe, Alexander Lillington, John 
Swann, George Moore, John Porter, Colonel Jones, Colonel 
Merrick, and other gentlemen of influence. It was the center 
from which had radiated the influences that directed popu- 
lar movements. iTearer to Onslow, Duplin, and Bladen, 
than Wilming-ton was, and the residence of the Speaker and 
other active leaders, it was doubtless there that plans were 
considered, and proceedings agreed upon that involved the 
united action of all the neighboring counties. At Wil- 
mington and vicinity, were Harnett, DeKosset, Toomer, 
Walker, Clayton, Gregg, Purviance, Eustace, Maclaine, and 
DuBois ; while near by were Howe, Smith, Davis, Grange, 
Ancrum, and a score of others of the loftiest patriotism. All 
were in full accord with the Speaker of the Assembly; all 
were nerved by the same spirit; all resolved to carry re- 
sistance, if need be, to the point of blood and death. 

We fortunately have a contemporaneous record of some 
of their proceedings. "On Saturday, the 19th of last month," 
says the North Carolina Gazette, published at Wilmington, 
in its issue of ISTovember 20, 1765 : 

About 7 o'clock in the evening, near five hundred people as- 
sembled together in this town and exhibited the effigy of a certain 
honorable gentleman; and after letting it hang by the neck for 
some time, near the courthouse they made a large bonfire with a 


number of tar barrels etc., and committed it to the flames. The 
reason assigned for the people's dislike to that gentleman was from 
being informed of his having several times expressed himself much 
in favor of the Stamp Duty. After the effigy was consumed, they 
went to every house in town, and brought all the gentlemen to the 
bonfire, and insisted on their drinking "Liberty, Property, and No 
Stamp Duty," and "Confusion to Lord Bute and all his adherents"; 
giving three huzzahs at the conclusion of each toast. They con- 
tinued together until 12 of the clock, and then dispersed without 
doing any mischief. 

Doubtless it was a very orderly crowd, since the editor 
sajs so. A very orderly, harmless, inoffensive gathering; 
patriotic, and given to hurrahing; but we are assured that 
they dispersed without any mischief. 

And continues the same paper : 

On Thursday, the 31st of the same month, in the evening, a great 
number of people assembled again, and produced an effigy of Liberty, 
which they put in a coffin and marched in solemn procession with 
it to the churchyard, a drum in mourning beating before them, and 
the town bell, muffled, ringing a doleful knell at the same time; but 
before they committed the body to the ground, they thought it ad- 
visable to feel its pulse, and, finding some remains of life, they re- 
turned back to a bonfire ready prepared, placed the effigy before it 
in a large two-armed chair, and concluded the evening with great 
rejoicings on finding that Liberty had still an existence in the 

Not the least injury was offered to any person. 

The editor of that paper, Mr. Stewart, was apparently 
anxious to let his readers know that the people engaged in 
these proceedings were the very soul of order and the 
essence of moderation. So far they had done no mischief 
and offered no injury to anyone. But still they had teeth, 
and they co,uld show them. Ill fared any man who stood 
in their way. 

The next item reads: 

Saturday, the 16th of this instant, that is November: William 
Houston, Esq., distributor of stamps for this Province, came to this 
town; upon which three or four hundred people immediately gath- 
ered together, with drums beating and colors flying, and repaired to 
the house the said Stamp-Master put up at, and insisted upon know- 
ing "Whether he intended to execute his said office or not." He told 
them, "He should be very sorry to execute any office disagreeable to 
the people of this Province." But they, not content with such 


declaration, carried him into the courthouse, where he signed a 
resignation satisfactory to the whole. They then placed the Stamp- 
Master in an armchair, carried him around the courthouse, giving 
at every corner three loud huzzahs, and finally set him down at the 
door of his lodging, formed a circle around him and gave three 
cheers. They then escorted him into the house, where were pre- 
pared the best liquors, and treated him very genteelly. In the even- 
ing a large bonfire was made and no person appeared on the streets 
without having "Liberty" in large capital letters on his hat They 
had a table near the bonfire well furnished with several sorts of 
liquors, where they drank, in great form, all the favorite American 
Toasts, giving three cheers at the conclusion of each. 

"The whole was conducted," says the editor, "with great 
decorum, and not the least insult offered to any person." 

This enforced resignation of the Stamp-Master was done 
under the direction of Alderman DeRosset, who received 
from Houston his commission and other papers, and neces- 
sarily it was a very orderly performance. The ringing 
huzzas, the patriotic toasts, the loud acclaim, echoing from 
the courthouse square, reverberated through the streets of 
the town, but Mr. Stewart is quite sure that no mischief was 
done, and not the least insult was offered to any person. 
These and other similar proceedings led the Governor to 
send out a circular letter to the principal inhabitants of the 
Cape Fear region, requesting their presence at a dinner at 
his residence at Brunswick on Tuesday, the 19th of Novem- 
ber, three days after Dr. Houston resigned ; and after the 
dinner, he conferred with these gentlemen about the Stamp 
Act. He found them fully determined to annul the Act, and 
prevent its going into effect. He sought to persuade them, 
and begged them to let it be observed at least in part. He 
pleaded that if they would let the Act go into partial opera- 
tion in the respects he mentioned, he himself would pay for all 
the stamps necessary. It seems that he liked the people, 
and they liked and admired him, and difficult indeed was his 
position. He was charged with the execution of a law which 
he knew could not be executed, for there was not enough 
specie in the Province to buy the necessary stamps, even if 
the law could be enforced ; but, then, the people were re- 
solved against recognizing it in any degree. The authority 


of the King and of the Parliament was defied, and he, the 
representative of the British Government, was powerless in 
the face of this resolute defiance. While still maintaining 
dignity in his intercourse with the people, the Governor 
wrote to his superiors in London strongly urging the repeal 
of the law. A week later, the stamps arrived in the sloop of 
war Diligence. They remained on the sloop and were not 
landed at that time. 

Now was there a lull ; but the quietude was not to remain 
unbroken. In January two merchant vessels arrived in the 
harbor, the Patience and the Dohhs. Their clearance papers 
were not stamped as the Act required. The vessels were 
seized and detained while the lawfulness of their detention 
was referred to the Attorney-General, Eobert Jones, then 
absent at his home on the Eoanoke. But the leaders of the 
people were determined not to submit to an adverse decision. 
They held meetings and agreed on a plan of action. 

In view of the crisis, on January 20th, the Mayor of the 
town retired to give place to Moses John DeEosset, who had 
been the foremost leader in the action previously taken by the 
town. One whose spirit never quailed was now to stand 
forth as the head of the Corporation. 

On the 5th of February, Captain Lobb, in command of 
the Viper, had made a requisition for an additional supply of 
provisions, and Mr. Dry, the contractor, sent his boat to 
Wilmington to obtain them. The inhabitants, led by the 
Mayor, at once seized the boat, threw the crew into the jail, 
and, in a wild tumult of excitement, placed the boat on a 
wagon and hauled it through the streets with great demon- 
stration of fervid patriotism. The British forces on the 
river were to receive no supplies from Wilmington; their 
provisions were cut off, and they were treated as enemies — 
not friends — so long as they supported the odious law of Par- 
liament. Ten days later came the opinion of the Attorney- 
General to the effect that the detained merchantmen were 
properly seized and were liable to be confiscated under the 
law. This was the signal for action. The news was spread 


throughout the counties, and the whole country was astir. 
Every patriot "was on his legs." There was no halt in 
carrying into effect the plan agreed upon. Immediately the 
people began to assemble, and detachments, under chosen 
leaders, took up their march from Onslow, Bladen, and 
Duplin. On the 18th of February, the inhabitants of the 
Cape Fear counties, being then assembled at Wilmington, 
entered into an association, which they signed, declaring 
they preferred death to slavery; and mutually and solemnly 
they plighted their faith and honor that they would at any 
risk whatever, and whenever called upon, unite, and truly 
and faithfully assist each other, to the best of their power, 
in preventing entirely the operation of the Stamp Act. 

The crisis had now arrived. The hand of destiny had 
struck with a bold stroke the resounding bell. The people, 
nobly responding, had seized their arms. At all times, 
when some patriot is to throw himself to the front and bid 
defiance to the established authority of Government, there 
is a Rubicon to be crossed and he who unsheathes his sword 
to resist the law must win success or meet a traitor's doom. 
But the leaders on the Cape Fear did not hesitate at the 
thought of personal peril. At their call, the people, being 
armed and assembled at Wilmington, chose the men who 
were to guide, govern, and direct them. They called to the 
helm John Ashe, the trusted Speaker of the Assembly, and 
associated with him Alexander Lillington and Col. Thomas 
Lloyd, as a Directory to manage their affairs at this mo- 
mentous crisis. Their movement was not that of an irre- 
sponsible mob. It was an orderly proceeding, pursuant to 
a determined plan of action, under the direction of the high- 
est officer of the Province, who was charged with maintaining 
the liberties of the people. In effect, it was the institution 
and ordaining of a temporary government. 

It was resolved to organize an armed force and march to 
Brunswick, and Col. Hugh Waddell was invested with the 
command of the military. Let us pause a moment and take 
a view of the situation at that critical juncture. Close to 


Brunswick in his mansion, was Governor Tryon, the repre- 
sentative of the King; no coward he, but resolute, a mili- 
tary man of experience and courage. In the town itself 
were the residences and offices of Colonel Dry, the collector of 
the port, and of other officers of the Crown. Off in the 
river lay the detained merchant vessels and the two sloops of 
war, the Viper, commanded by Captain Lobb, and the Dili- 
gence, commanded by Captain Phipps, whose bristling guns, 
26 in number, securely kept them; while Fort Johnston, 
some miles away, well armed with artillery, was held by a 
small garrison. At every point flew the meteor flag of 
Great Britain. Every point was protected by the aegis of 
his Sacred Majesty. For a subject to lift his hand in a hos- 
tile manner against any of these was treason and rebellion. 
Yes, treason and rebellion, with the fearful punishment of 
attainder and death — of being hanged and quartered. 

Well might the eloquent Davis exclaim, "Beware, John 
Ashe: Hugh Waddell, take heed!" 

Their lives, their fortunes were at hazard and the dishon- 
ored grave was open to receive their dismembered bodies! 
But patriots as they were, they did take care — not for them- 
selves, but for the liberties of their country. At high noon, 
on the 19th day of February, the three Directors, the Mayor 
and Corporation of Wilmington, the embodied soldiery, and 
the prominent citizens, moved forward, crossed the river, 
passed like Caesar the fateful Eubicon, and courageously 
marched to the scene of possible conflict. It was not only 
the Governor with whom they had to deal, but the ships of 
war with their formidable batteries, that held possession of 
the detained vessels. It was not merely the penalties of 
the law that threatened them, but they courted death at the 
cannon's mo.uth, in conflict with the heavily armed sloops of 
war, from whose power they had come to wrest the mer- 
chantmen. But there was neither halt nor hesitation. 

As they crossed the river, a chasm yawned deep and wide, 
separating them from their loyal past. Behind them they 
left their allegiance as loyal British subjects, before them 


was rebellion — open, flagrant war, leading to revolution. 
Who could tell what the ending might be of the anticipated 
conflict ! 

There all the gentlemen of the Cape Fear were gathered, 
in their cocked hats, their long queues, their knee-breeches 
and shining shoe buckles. Mounted on their well-groomed 
horses, they made a famous cavalcade as they wound their 
way through the sombre pine forests that hedged in the 
highway to old Brunswick. Among them was DeRosset, the 
mayor, in the prime of manhood, of French descent, with 
keen eye, fine culture, and high intelligence, who had been a 
soldier with Innes at the Xorth ; bold and resolved was he as 
he rode, surrounded by Cornelius Harnett, Frederick Gregg, 
John Sampson, and the other aldermen and officers of the 

At the head of a thousand armed men, arranged in com- 
panies, and marching in order, was the experienced soldier, 
Hugh Waddell, not yet thirty-three years of age, but already 
renowned for his capacity and courage. He had won more 
distinction and honors in the late wars at the North and 
West than any other Southern soldier, save only George 
Washington ; and now in command of his companies, officered 
by men who had been trained in discipline in the war, he 
was confident of the issue. Of Irish descent, and coming of 
a fighting stock, his blood was up, and his heroic soul was 
aflame for the fray. 

Surrounded by a bevy of his kinsmen, the venerable Sam 
and John Swann; and his brothers-in-law, James, George, 
and Maurice Moore ; by his brother, Sam Ashe, and Alexan- 
der Lilliugion, whose burly forms towered high above the 
others; by Home, Davis, Colonel Lloyd, and other gallant 
spirits, was the Speaker, John Ashe, now just forty-five years 
of age, on whom the responsibility of giving directions 
chiefly lay. Of medium stature, well knit, olive com- 
plexion, and with a lustrous hazel eye, he was full of nervous 
energy — an orator of surpassing power, of elegant carriage 
and commanding presence. Of him Mr. Strudwick has 


said: "That there were not four men in London his intel- 
lectual superior," and that at a time when Pitt, Fox, Burke, 
and others of that splendid galaxy of British orators and 
statesmen gave lustre to British annals. 

How, on this momentous occasion, the spirits of these 
men and of their kinsmen and friends who gathered around, 
must have soared as they pressed on, resolved to maintain 
the chartered rights of their country ! Animated by the 
noble impulses of a lofty patriotism, with their souls ele- 
vated by the inspiring emotions of a perilous struggle for 
their liberties, they moved forward with a resolute purpose 
to sacrifice their lives rather than tamely submit to the 
oppressive and odious enactments of the British Parliament. 

It was nightfall before they reached the vicinity of Bruns- 
wick, and George Moore and Cornelius Harnett, riding in 
advance, presented to Grovernor Tryon a letter from the Gov- 
erning Directory, notifying him of their purpose. In a few 
minutes the Governor's residence was surrounded, and Cap- 
tain Lobb was inquired for — but he was not there. A party 
was then dispatched towards Fort Johnston, and thereupon 
Tryon notified the British JSTaval Commanders and re- 
quested them to protect the Fort, repelling force with force. 
In the meantime, a party of gentlemen called on the Col- 
lector, Mr. Dry, who had the papers of the ship Patience; 
and in his presence broke open his desk and took them away. 
This gave an earnest of the resolute purpose of the people. 
They purposed to use all violence that was necessary to 
carry out their desig-ns. Eealizing the full import of the 
situation, the following noon a conference of the King's 
officers was held on the Yiper, and Captain Lobb, confident 
of his strength, declared to the Governor that he would hold 
the ship Patience and insist on the return of her papers. If 
the people were resolved, so were the officers of the Govern- 
ment. The sovereignty of Great Britain was to be enforced. 
There was to be no temporizing with the rebels. The honor 
of the Government demanded that the British flag should not 
droop in the face of this hostile array. But two short hours 


later, a party of the insurgents came aboard and requested 
to see Captain Lobb. They entered the cabin, and there, 
under the royal flag, surrounded by the King's forces, they 
demanded that all efforts to enforce the Stamp Act cease. 
They would allow no opposition. In the presence of Ashe, 
Waddell, DeRosset, Harnett, Moore, Howe, and Lillington, 
the spirit of Captain Lobb quailed. The people won. In 
the evening the British commander, much to the Governor's 
disgust, reported to that functionary, "That all was settled." 
Yes. All had been settled. The vessels were released ; the 
grievances were redressed. The restrictions on the commerce 
of the Cape Fear were removed. The attempt to enforce 
the Stamp Act had failed before the prompt, vigorous, and 
courageous action of the inhabitants. After that, vessels 
could come and go as if there had been no act of Parliament. 
The people had been victorious over the King's ships; with 
arms in their hands, they had won the victory. 

But the work was not all finished. There, on the Dili- 
gence, were the obnoxious stamps, and by chance some loyal 
officer of the Government might use them. To guard against 
that, the officers were to be forced to swear not to obey the 
Act of Parliament, but to observe the will of the people. Mr. 
Pennington was his Majesty's controller, and understand- 
ing that the people sought him, he took refuge in the Gov- 
ernor's Mansion, and was given a bed and made easy, but 
early the next morning, Col. James Moore called to get him. 
The Governor interfered, to prevent; and immediately the 
Mansion was surrounded by the insurgent troops, and the 
Directory notified the Governor, in writing, that they re- 
quested His Excellency to let Mr. Pennington attend, other- 
wise it would not be "in the power of the Directors ap- 
pointed to prevent the ill consequences that would attend a 
refusal." In plain language, said John Ashe, "Persist in 
your refusal, and we will come and take him." The Gov- 
ernor declined to comply. In a few moments he observed a 
body of nearly five hundred men move towards his house. 
A detachment of sixty entered his avenue. Cornelius Har- 


nett accompanied them, and sent word that he wished to 
speak with Mr. Pennington. The Governor replied that 
Mr. Pennington was protected by his house. Harnett there- 
upon notified the Governor that the people would come in 
and take him out of the house, if longer detained. Now the 
point was reached. The people were ready; the Governor 
was firm. But Pennington wisely suggested that he would 
resign, and immediately wrote his resignation and delivered 
it to the Governor — and then he went out with Harnett and 
was brought here to Brunswick, and required to take an oath 
never to issue any stamped paper in IsTorth Carolina ; so was 
Mr. Dry, the collector ; and so all the clerks of the County 
Courts, and other public officers. Every officer in all that 
region, except alone the Governor, was forced to obey the will 
of the people and swear not to obey the Act of Parliament. 

On the third day after the first assemblage at Wilming- 
ton, on the 18th, the Directors, having completed their work 
at Brunswick, took up the line of march to return. With 
what rejoicing they turned their backs on the scene of their 
bloodless triumph. It had been a time of intense excitement. 
It had been no easy task to hold more than a thousand hot 
and zealous patriots well in hand, and to accomplish their 
purposes without bloodshed. Wisdom and courage by the 
Directors, and prudence, foresight, and sagacity on the part 
of the military officers were alike essential to the consumma- 
tion of their design. They now returned in triumph, their 
purposes accomplished. The odious law was annulled in 
ISTorth Carolina. After that, merchant vessels passed freely 
in and out of port, without interference. The stamps re- 
mained boxed on shipboard, and no further effort was made 
to enforce a law which the people had rejected. 

Two months after these events on the Cape Fear, Parlia- 
ment repealed the law, and the news was hurried across the 
Atlantic in the fleetest vessels. The victory of the people 
was complete. They had annulled an act of Parliament, 
crushed their enemies, and preserved their liberties. Thus 
once more were the courageous leaders on the Cape Fear, in 


their measures of opposition to encroachments on the rights 
of the people, sustained by the result. On former occasions 
they had triumphed over their Governors: now, in coopera- 
tion with the other provinces, they had triumphed over the 
British Ministry and the Parliament of Great Britain. 

While in every other province the people resolutely op- 
posed the Stamp Act, nowhere else in America was there 
a proceeding similar to that which was taken at Wilming- 
ton. Nowhere else was the standard of Liberty committed 
to the care of a Governing Board, even though its creation 
was for a temporary purpose ; nowhere else was there an army 
organized, under officers appointed, and led to a field where 
a battle might have ensued. Had not His Majesty's forces 
yielded to the will of the insurgents, the American Eevolu- 
tion would probably have begun then — and here — on the 
soil of Old Brunswick. 


About half a mile to the south of Orton House, and within 
the boundary of the plantation, are the ruins of Governor 
Tryon's residence, memorable in the history of the United 
States as the spot upon which the first overt act of violence 
occurred in the war of American Independence, nearly eight 
years before the Boston Tea incident, of which so much has 
been made in Northern history ; while this colonial ruin, the 
veritable cradle of American liberty, is probably unknown 
to nine-tenths of the people of the Cape Fear at the present 

This place, which has been eloquently referred to by two 
of the most distinguished sons of the Cape Fear, and direct 
descendants of Sir John Yeamans, the late Hon. George 
Davis and the Hon. A. M. Waddell, and which was known as 
Russellborough, was bought from William Moore, son and 
successor of "King" Roger, by Capt. John Russell, Com- 
mander of his Britannic Majesty's sloop of war Scorpion, 


who gave the tract of about fifty-five acres his own name. It 
subsequently passed into the possession of his widow, who 
made a deed of trust, and the property ultimately again be- 
came a part of Orton plantation. It was sold March 31, 
1758, by the executors of the estate of William Moore to the 
British Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Arthur Dobbs, 
who occupied it and who sold it or gave it to his son, Edward 
Bryce Dobbs, captain of His Majesty's 7th Eegiment of 
Foot or Eoyal Fusileers, who conveyed it by deed, dated 
February 12, 1767, to His Excellency, William Tryon, Gov- 
ernor, etc. It appears, however, that Governor Tryon occu- 
pied this residence prior to the date of this deed, as is shown 
by the following official correspondence in 1766 with refer- 
ence to the uprising of the Cape Fear people in opposition to 

the Stamp Act : 

Brunswick, 19th February, 1766, 

Eleven at Night. 
Sir; — Between the hours of six and seven o'clock this evening, 
Mr. Geo. Moore and Mr. Cornelius Harnett waited on me at my house, 
and delivered me a letter signed by three gentlemen. The inclosed 
is a copy of the original. I told Mr. Moore and Mr. Harnett that I 
had no fears or apprehensions for my person or property, I wanted 
no guard, therefore desired the gentlemen might not come to give 
their protection where it was not necessary or required, and that I 
would send the gentlemen an answer in writing to-morrow morning. 
Mr. Moore and Mr. Harnett might stay about five or six minutes in 
my house. Instantly after their leaving me, I found my house sur- 
rounded with armed men to the number, I estimate, at one hundred 
and fifty. I had some altercation with some of the gentlemen, who 
informed me their business was to see Captain Lobb, whom they 
were informed was at my house; Captain Paine then desired me 
to give my word and honor whether Captain Lobb was in my house 
or not. I positively refused to make any such declaration, but as they 
had force in their hands I said they might break open my locks and 
force my doors. This, they declared, they had no intention of doing; 
just after this and other discourse, they got intelligence that Captain 
Lobb was not in my house. The majority of the men in arms then 
went to the town of Brunswick, and left a number of men to watch 
the avenues of my house, therefore think it doubtful if I can get 
this letter safely conveyed. I esteem it my duty, sir, to inform you, 
as Fort Johnston has but one officer and five men in garrison, the 
Fort will stand in need of all the assistance the Viper and Diligence 
sloops can give the commanding officer there, should any insult be 
offered to His Majesty's fort or stores, in which case it is my duty 


to request of you to repel force with force, and take on board His 
Majesty's sloops so much of His Majesty's ordnance, stores, and 
ammunition, out of the said fort as you shall think necessary for 
the benefit of the service. 

I am, your most humble servant, Wm. Tbton. 

To the Commanding Officer, either of the Viper or Diligence, Sloops 
of War. 

The writer, who has made his home at Orton, had often 
inquired for the precise location of the ruins of Governor 
Tryon's Eussellborough residence without success ; but about 
fifteen years ago, acting upon Colonel Waddell's reference to 
its site on the north of Old Brunswick, the service of an aged 
negro who had lived continuously on the plantation for over 
seventy years was engaged. He, being questioned, could not 
remember ever having heard the name Eussellborough, nor 
of Governor Dobbs, nor of Governor Tryon, nor of an avenue 
of trees in the locality described. He said he remembered, 
however, hearing when he was a boy about a man named 
"Governor Palace," who lived in a great house between Or- 
ton and old Brunswick. 

We proceeded at once to the spot, which is approached 
through an old field, still known as Old Palace Field, on the 
other side of which, on a bluff facing the east, and affording 
a fine view of the river, we found hidden in a dense under- 
growth of timber the foundation walls of Tryon's residence. 
The aged guide showed us the well-worn carriage road of the 
Governor, and also his private path through the old garden 
to the river landing, a short distance below, on the south of 
which is a beautiful cove of white and shining sand, known, 
he said, in olden times, as the Governor's Cove. The stone 
foundation walls of the house are about two feet above the 
surface of the ground. Some sixty years ago the walls stood 
from about twelve to fifteen feet high, but the material was 
unfortunately used by one of the proprietors for building 

The old servant pointed out a large pine tree near by, upon 
which he said had been carved in Colonial times the names of 
two distinguished persons buried beneath it, and which in 


his youthful days was regarded with much curiosity by vis- 
itors. The rude inscription has unhappily become almost ob- 
literated by several growths of bark, and the strange mys- 
terious record is forever hidden by the hand of time. 

A careful excavation of this ruin would doubtless reveal 
some interesting and possibly valuable relics of Governor 
Tryon's household. ISTear the surface was found, while these 
lines were being written, some fragments of blue Dutch til- 
ing, doubtless a part of the interior decorations ; also a num- 
ber of peculiarly shaped bottles for the favorite sack of those 
days, which Falstaff called Sherris sack, of Xeres vintage, 
now known as dry sherry. 

In recent years the site of Governor Tryon's palace upon 
this spot has been marked by a substantial monument built 
of bricks and stones taken from the foundation of the place, 
and suitably inscribed by the ISTorth Carolina Society of 
Colonial Dames of America. 

The Revolution 


On July 21, 1774, there was an important meeting of the 
inhabitants of the Wilmington district held at Wilmington. 

It being understood that the Royal Governor had deter- 
mined that the legislature should not meet, this meeting 
was called to take steps for the election of delegates to a 
Revolutionary Convention. 

William Hooper presided; and Col. James Moore, John 
Ancrum, Fred Jones, Samuel Ashe, Robert Howe, Robert 
Hogg, Francis Clayton, and Archibald Maclaine were ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare a circular letter to the several 
counties of the Province, requesting them to elect delegates 
to represent them in the Convention. 

This was the first movement to provide for a Revolutionary 
Government, and the delegates elected were the first elected 
by the people in any Province in right of the sovereignty of 
the people. It was at this same meeting that the declaration 
was made that "the Cause of Boston was the Cause of All." 
It was "Resolved that we consider the cause of Boston as the 
common cause of British America." Money and a shipload 
of provisions were at once subscribed for the suffering people 
of Boston, and Parker Quince offered his vessel to carry the 
provisions and himself went to deliver them. 

In response to the letter sent out by the committee, dele- 
gates were chosen in every county except five, and the Con- 
vention met at New Bern on August 25, 1774, and a Revolu- 
tionary Government was instituted. 



Wilmington, November 23, 1774. 
At a meeting of the Freeholders in the Courthouse at Wil- 
mington for the purpose of choosing a Committee of said 


town to carry more effectually into execution the resolves of 
the late Congress held at Philadelphia, the following names 
were proposed and universally assented : 

Cornelius Harnett, Jno. Quince, Francis Clayton, William 
Hooper, Robert Hogg, Arch*^ McLain, Jno. Robinson, James 

Wednesday, January 4, 1775. 

The Committee met at the Courthouse. Present, Corne- 
lius Harnett, Archibald McLaine, John Ancrum, William 
Hooper, and John Robinson. 

At the same time the freeholders of l^ew Hanover County 
assembled to choose a committee for the county to join and 
cooperate with the committee of the town, which the members 
present agreed to. Then the freeholders present, having Cor- 
nelius Harnett in the chair, unanimously chose George 
Moore, John Ashe, Samuel Ashe, James Moore, Frederick 
Jones, Alex. Lillington, Sampson Moseley, Samuel Swann, 
George Merrick, Esquires, and Messrs. John Hollingsworth, 
Samuel Collier, Samuel Marshal, William Jones, Thomas 
Bloodworth, James Wright, Wm. Jones, John Larkins, Joel 
Parrish, John Devane, Timothy Bloodworth, Thomas De- 
vane, John Marshall, John Calvin, Bishop Dudley, and Wil- 
liam Robeson, Esquires, a committee to join the committee of 

Monday, March 6, 1775. 

The Committee met according to adjournment. 

The following association was agreed on by the Commit- 
tee and annexed to the resolves of the General Congress, to 
be handed to every person in this county and recommended 
to the Committees of the adjacent counties, that those who 
acceded to the said resolves, may subscribe their names 

We, the subscribers, in testimony of our sincere approba- 
tion of the proceedings of the late Continental Congress, to 
the annexed have hereto set our hands, and we do most 
solemnly engage by the most sacred ties of honor, virtue, and 


love of our country, that we will ourselves strictly observe 
every part of the Association recommended by the Conti- 
nental Congress. 

Mr. James Kenan, Chairman of the Duplin Committee, 
pursuant to a letter from this committee at its last meeting 

Eesolved that all the members of the committee now pres- 
ent go in a body and wait on all housekeepers in town, with 
the Association before mentioned and request their signing 
it, or declare their reasons for refusing, that such enemies 
to their country may be set forth to public view and treated 
with the contempt they merit. 

Eesolved that it is the opinion of this committee that all 
dances, private as well as public, are contrary to the spirit 
of the eighth article in the Association of the Continental 
Congress, and as such they ought to be discouraged, and that 
all persons concerned in any dances for the future should be 
properly stigmatized. 

Mr. Harnett desired the opinion of the Committee respect- 
ing a negro fellow he bought in Ehode Island (a native of 
that place) in the month of October last, whom he designed 
to have brought with him to this Province, but the said negro 
ran away at the time of his sailing from Rhode Island. The 
question was put whether Mr. Harnett may import said 
negro from Rhode Island. 

Resolved unanimously that Mr. Harnett may import the 
said negro from Rhode Island. 

Tuesday, March 7, 1775. 

Resolved that three members of this committee attend the 
meeting of the Committee at Duplin on the 18th instant. Mr. 
Samuel Ashe, Mr. Sampson Mosely, and Mi-. Timothy Blood- 
worth were accordingly nominated to attend the said Com- 



(47) -1754 



















(Compiled by the North Carolina Historical Commission.) 

Borough Membebs from Wilmington. 
1739 (40) -1740 William Parris 

1742-1743 William Farris 

1744-1745 William Farris 

Thomas Clark 
Lewis DeRosset 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 
Cornelius Harnett 

New Hanover County Members. 

1734 John Swann 

Job Howe 
Maurice Moore 

1736 Maurice Moore 

John Swann 

1738-1739 Nathaniel Moore 

John Swann 

1739-1740 John Swann 

Maurice Moore 

1744-1745 John Swann 

George Moore 

1746 Samuel Swann 

Rufus Marsden 
John Swann 

1746-1754 Rufus Marsden 

John Swann 
John Ashe 

1754-1760 George Moore 

John Ashe 

1760 George Moore 

John Ashe 

1761 George Moore 

John Ashe 


1762 (April) George Moore 

John Ashe 
1762 (November) John Ashe 

Alexander Lillington 
1764-1765 John Ashe 

James Moore 
1766-1768 John Ashe 

James Moore 
1769 John Ashe 

James Moore 
1770-1771 John Ashe 

James Moore 
1773 (January) John Ashe 

James Moore 
1773-1774 John Ashe 

William Hooper 
1775 John Ashe 

William Hooper 

Borough Members from Wilmington. 
Aug. 1774 " Francis Clayton 

April 1775 Cornelius Harnett 

Aug. 1775 Cornelius Harnett 

Archibald Maclaine 
April 1776 Cornelius Harnett 

Nov. 1776 William Hooper 

New Hanoveb County Members. 

Aug. 1774 John Hooper 

William Hooper 

April 1775 William Hooper 

John Ashe 

Aug. 1775 George Moore 

Alexander Lillington 
Samuel Ashe 
William Hooper 
James Moore 
John Ashe 

April 1776 John Ashe 

John Devane 
Samuel Ashe 
Sampson Moseley 
John Hollingsworth 

Nov, 1776 John Ashe 

Samuel Ashe 
John Devane 
Sampson Moseley 
John Hollingsworth 



On the last day of May, 1775, the Eoyal Governor of 
North Carolina, Josiah Martin, locked his palace at New 
Bern and fled to Fort Johnston, arriving there on June 2d. 
Two weeks later he issued his proclamation warning the peo- 
ple to desist from their revolutionary proceedings. As if in 
answer, on June 19th, the inhabitants of New Hanover, hav- 
ing assembled, united in an Association "to sacrifice their 
lives and fortunes to secure the freedom and safety of their 
country." The next day, June 20th, the Committeemen of 
Duplin, Bladen, Onslow, Brunswick, and New Hanover met 
at Wilmington and adopted the New Hanover Association, 
which was also signed, later, in Cumberland. Three weeks 
elapsed, and then the people of the lower Cape Fear, having 
determined to dislodge the garrison of the fort, on the 18th 
of July seized and burnt the fort, the Governor and his 
soldiers taking refuge on the vessels. 

Knowing that there was a large number of loyal adherents 
in the interior, Governor Martin devised a plan by which a 
strong British force was to be sent from England to the Cape 
Fear, where they would be joined by the Loyalists from the 
upper counties, and the Province reduced to subjection. 
Accordingly, when the time approached for the British fleet 
to arrive, the Loyalists began to embody, the first movement 
being on February 5th, with instructions to concentrate at 
Campbellton. As quickly as this action was known, the news 
was hurried to Wilmington and other points throughout the 
Province. The messengers reached Wilmington on the 9th 
with the startling intelligence, and the greatest excitement 

For eighty hours, night and day, there was severe, unremit- 
ting service, making preparation for defense. Companies 
of troops rushed in from Onslow, Duplin, and Brunswick, the 
whole country being aroused. Colonel Moore with his Con- 
tinentals, Colonel Lillington with his corps of Minutemen, 


Colonel Ashe with his Independents, hurried to the vicinity 
of Campellton to arrest the progress of the Loyalists, while 
Colonel Purviance, in command of the New Hanover Militia, 
remained at Wilmington, throwing up breastworks, mounting 
swivels, and constructing fire-rafts to drive off the British 
vessels should they attempt to seize the town. The sloop of 
war Cruiser did ascend the river, but, avoiding Wilmington, 
tried to pass up the Clarendon, or Brunswick River, being, 
however, driven back by riflemen who lined the banks. 

The battle of Moore's Creek followed on February 27th, 
and the plan of the Governor was defeated. All during 
March and April British vessels came into the harbor, but 
the grand fleet bearing the troops from England, being de- 
tained by storms, did not arrive until the end of April, when 
there were more than a hundred ships in the river. The plan 
of the Governor having failed, towards the end of May the 
fleet sailed, expecting to take possession of Charleston, leaving 
only a few ships in the river. Later, these likewise were 
withdrawn, and for nearly five years the people of Wilming- 
ton were left undisturbed. 

At length, South Carolina being subjugated. Lord Corn- 
wallis proposed to enter North Carolina, and as a part of his 
operations, on the 28th of January, 1781, Maj. James M. 
Craig took possession of Wilmington. His force consisted of 
eighteen vessels, carrying a full supply of provisions and mu- 
nitions, and 400 regular troops, artillery and dragoons. At 
that time Brunswick was entirely deserted, and Wilmington 
contained but 200 houses and only 1,000 inhabitants. The 
entire Cape Fear region was defenseless. The losses of the 
Cape Fear counties at Camden and in other battles at the 
South had been heavy, while many of the militia and the 
whole Continental Line had been surrendered by Lindbln at 
Charleston. Thus the Whig strength had been greatly weak- 
ened, while there were in the country but few guns and no 
powder and lead. On the other hand, the Loyalists had been 
strengthened by accessions from those who wearied of the war. 


Major Craig at once dispatclaed detachments to scour the 
country, seize prominent Whigs, collect forage, and arouse 
the Loyalists, who in some counties largely outnumbered the 
Whigs. After the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Cornwallis 
retreated to Wilmington, his army arriving there on April 
7th. When he had repaired his damage as well as he could, 
in the closing days of April, he marched through the eastern 
counties to Virginia, leaving the subjugation of Korth Caro- 
lina to Major Craig. 

Large bodies of Loyalists, well supplied by the British with 
arms and ammunition, too strong to be successfully resisted, 
now marched at will throughout the upper Cape Fear coun- 
try, suppressing the Whigs and taking many prisoners, con- 
fining them in prison ships or in Craig's "bull-pen" on shore. 

After Cornwallis had passed on to Virginia, General Lil- 
lington returned to his former position at Heron Bridge over 
the Northeast; but in June he was forced to retire into 
Onslow County, and Craig established an outpost at Ruther- 
ford Mills on Ashe's Creek, seven miles east of Burgaw, 
where he constructed a bastion fort. In the meantime Craig 
had been active in organizing the Loyalists, and he issued 
a proclamation notifying the inhabitants that they were all 
British subjects and must enroll themselves as Loyal militia, 
and those who did not do so by the first day of August were 
to be harried, their property seized and sold, and themselves 
destroyed. On the last day of grace Craig began a march 
through the eastern counties, his loyal lieutenants being very 
vigorous in the counties on the ITorthwest and the Haw 
and the Deep Rivers. When he reached Rock Creek, two miles 
east of Wallace, he found Colonel Kenan with some five hun- 
dred militia ready to contest his passage ; but Kenan's ammu- 
nition was soon exhausted and the British successfully crossed 
and dispersed the militia. Tor ten days Craig remained in 
Duplin and harried the Whigs, and then, after being joined 
by three hundred Loyalists, he moved towards !New Bern. 
Lillington was at Limestone Bridge, but hurried on the road 
to the Trent to keep in Craig's front. He had about six hun- 


dred men, but only three rounds of ammunition, and had been 
directed not to hazard a battle. On the 17th of August, Gen- 
eral Caswell reported to the Governor: "General Lillington 
is between New Bern and the enemy, and I am fearful will 
risk an action. I have done everything I can to prevent it, 
and have let him have a sight of your Excellency's letter 
wherein you mention that no general action must take place." 
Craig entered ISfew Bern, and then marched towards Kinston, 
but turned south and went to Richlands, and after obtaining 
a supply of forage, he returned to Wilmington. At the east 
the Whigs now rallied everywhere, those in Duplin, having 
suffered greatly, being thoroughly exasperated. They sur- 
prised a body of Tories, "cut many of them to pieces, took 
several, and put them to instant death." The retaliation on 
each side was fierce and ferocious, until at length the Tories 
subsided. But in Bladen and higher up the Tory detach- 
ments, each numbering several hundred, held the country and 
drove the Whigs out. However, on August 28th, Colonel 
Brown, with about 150 Bladen men, won a complete victory 
at Elizabethtown and broke the Tory power in Bladen. But 
a fortnight later, Fanning, whose force numbered 1,000 men, 
took Hillsboro, captured the Governor of the State, and 
fought the battle of Cane Creek. 

It was not until October that General Rutherford was able 
to collect enough men to march to the relief of Wilmington. 
Early in November he reached the Northeast, ten miles 
above the town, and established himself there, hemming Craig 
in. But now momentous events happening at Yorktown had 
their effect on the Cape Fear. On the 17th of November 
Light Horse Harry Lee (the father of Gen. Robert E. 
Lee) arrived at Rutherford's camp, bringing the glad news 
of the surrender of Cornwallis. Immediately the whole camp 
united in a feu de joie, and then Rutherford crossed the river 
and took post at Schaw's, four miles from the town. On the 
following morning, November 18th, Major Craig and his 
troops boarded his ships and took their departure, and al- 


though the Tory bands continued to wage a relentless and 
murderous warfare on the Haw and the Deep, Wilmington 
thereafter enjoyed quiet and repose. 


(The Wilmington Weekly Chronicle, February, 1844.) 

One of the most daring and successful onsets upon Tories 
by the Whigs during the Eevolutionary War was at Eliza- 
bethtown, in the county of Bladen, of this State. ITo notice of 
the battle was found in any history of that period. We un- 
derstood that there was an imperfect relation of it published 
in a Federal paper 25 or 30 years ago. That a memorial to 
so gallant an act might be revived and placed within reach of 
some future historian, we addressed a letter to a distinguished 
gentleman of Bladen, desiring such information in regard to 
the affair as he should possess or be able to collect. The an- 
nexed letter from him furnishes a very satisfactory account 
of the information sought for, and will doubtless be perused 
by every N'orth Carolinian with much interest. Our re- 
spected correspondent, probably through inadvertence, omit- 
ted to put down the date of the battle. It was 1781, and, 
as near as we can ascertain, in the month of July. 

Bladen County, Feb. 21st, 1844. 
A. A. Beown, Esq., 

Editor of the Wilmington Weekly Chronicle. 
Dear Sir: — Yours of the 3d inst. was received, solicit- 
ing such information as I possess or may be able to collect 
respecting the battle fought at Elizabethtown during our 
Revolutionary struggle between the Whigs and Tories. I 
have often regretted that the actions and skirmishes which 
occurred in this and New Hanover County should have been 
overlooked by historians. The battle of Elizabethtown de- 
serves a place in history and ought to be recollected by every 
true-hearted ISTorth Carolinian with pride and pleasure. Here 
sixty men, driven from their homes, their estates ravaged 


and houses plundered, who had taken refuge with the Whigs 
of Duplin, without funds and bare of clothing, resolved to 
return, fight, conquer, or die. After collecting all the ammu- 
nition they could they embodied and selected Col. Thomas 
Brown in command. They marched fifty miles through al- 
most a wilderness country before they reached the river, sub- 
sisting on jerked beef and a scanty supply of bread. The 
Tories had assembled, 300 or more, at Elizabethtown, and 
were commanded by Slingsby and Godden. The former was 
a talented man and well fitted for his station ; the latter, bold, 
daring, and reckless, ready to risk everything to put down the 
Whigs. Every precautionary measure was adopted to pre- 
vent surprise and to render this the stronghold of Toryism. 
Nobody was suffered to remain on the east side of the river. 
Guards and sentries were regularly detached and posted. 
When the little band of Whig heroes after nightfall reached 
the river, not a boat was to be found. But it must be crossed 
and that speedily. Its depth was ascertained by some who 
were tall and expert swimmers. They, to a man, cried out, "It 
is fordable, we can, we will cross it." ISTot a murmur was 
heard, and without a moment's delay they all undressed, tied 
their clothing and ammunition on their heads (baggage they 
had none), each man grasping the barrel of his gun, raised the 
bridge so as to keep the lock above water, descended the banks, 
and entered the river. The taller men found less difficulty; 
those of lower stature were scarcely able to keep their mouths 
and noses above water; but all safely reached the opposite 
shore, resumed their dresses, fixed their arms for action, made 
their way through the low ground then thickly settled with 
men, ascended the hills which were high and precipitous, 
crossed King's road leading through the town, and took a posi- 
tion in its rear. Here they formed, and, in about two hours 
after crossing a mile below, commenced a furious attack, driv- 
ing in the Tory sentries and guards. They continued rapidly 
to advance, keeping up a brisk and well directed fire, and 
were soon in the midst of the foe, mostly Highland Scotch- 
men, as brave, as high-minded as any of His Majesty's sub- 


jects. So sudden and violent an onset for the moment pro- 
duced disorder ; but they were rallied by their gallant leader 
and made for a while the most determined resistance. Slings- 
bj fell mortally wounded and Godden was killed, with most 
of the officers of inferior grade. They retreated, some tak- 
ing refuge in houses, the others, the larger portion, leaping 
pell-mell in a deep ravine, since called the Tory Hole. As 
the Tories had unlimited sway from the river to the Little Pee 
Dee, the Whigs recrossed, taking with them their wounded. 
Such was the general panic produced by this action that the 
Tories became dispirited and never after were so troublesome. 
The Whigs returned to their homes in safety. In the death of 
Slingsby the Tories were deprived of an oflScer whose place 
it was difficult to fill ; but few were equal to Godden in parti- 
san warfare. This battle was mostly fought by river planters, 
men who had sacrificed much for their country. To judge it 
correctly it should not be forgotten that the country from 
Little Pee Dee to the Caharas was overrun by the Tories. 
Wilmington was in possession of the British and Cross Creek 
of the Tories. Thus situated the attack made on them at 
Elizabethtown assumed much of the character of a forlorn 
hope. Had the Whigs not succeeded they must have been 
cut off to a man. If they had fled southward the Tories 
would have arisen to destroy them. If eastward, the Tories 
in that case, flushed with victory, would have pursued them, 
and they would have sought in vain their former asylum. 
This action produced in this part of l^orth Carolina as 
sudden and happy results as the battles of Trenton and 
Princeton in New Jersey. The contest was unequal, but 
valor supplied the place of numbers. 

It is due to Colonel Brown, who, when a youth, marched 
with General Waddell from Bladen and fought under Gov- 
ernor Tryon at the battle of Alamance and was afterwards 
wounded at the Big Bridge, to say he fully realized the ex- 
pectations of his friends and the wishes of those who selected 
him to command ; and when the history of our State shall be 
written this action alone, apart from his chivalric conduct at 


the Big Bridge, will place liim by the side of his compa- 
triots Horry, Marion, and Sumter of the South. It must, it 
will, form an interesting page in our history on which the 
young men of North Carolina will delight to dwell. It is an 
achievement which bespeaks not only the most determined 
bravery, but great military skill. Most of these men, like the 
Ten Thousands Greeks, were fitted to command. Owen had 
fought at Camden, Morehead commanded the nine-months' 
men sent to the South, Eobeson and Ervine were the Percys 
of the Whigs and might justly be called the Hotspurs of the 
Cape Fear. 

The foregoing narrative was detailed to me by two of the 
respective combatants who now sleep with their fathers ; the 
substance of which I have endeavored to preserve with all the 
accuracy a memory not very retentive will permit. A re- 
spectable resident of Elizabethtown has recently informed me 
that he was a small boy at the time of the battle and lived with 
his mother in one of the houses to which the Tories repaired 
for safety ; that he has a distinct recollection of the fire of the 
Whigs, which appeared like one continuous stream. Docu- 
mentary evidence I have none. 

With great respect, 

The battle of Elizabethtown took place August 29, 1781. 
The consequences of that victory were far-reaching. Colonel 
Slingsby had at Elizabethtown a great number of Whigs held 
as prisoners, who were restored to liberty and augmented the 
Whig strength in Bladen. The guns, ammunition, provi- 
sions, and other spoils taken supplied the Whigs, who were in 
the extremest need. Not only were the Loyalists broken up 
and dispersed, but the Whigs were so strengthened that after 
that the Tories, who had been masters of Bladen, made no op- 
position to them. Still the condition of the Whigs in Bladen, 
as in all the other Cape Fear country, remained deplorable. 



Shortly after the four years' war, a distinguished Scottish 
traveler and lecturer, David Macrae, visited Wilmington, 
and was entertained for several weeks by my father, the late 
Alexander Sprunt, who sent him with credentials to the 
Scotch Country, where he was cordially received and honored. 
Mr. Macrae delivered in Wilmington several lectures which 
were largely attended, and he generously devoted the proceeds 
to the benefit of local charities. 

He subsequently wrote the following account of High- 
landers in North Carolina, with particular reference to 
Flora Macdonald, whose romantic life on the Cape Fear is 
worthy of a more enduring memorial : 

Visit to the Highland Settlement. 

In the month of February, one clear, sharp morning, I 
left Wilmington on my way up the Cape Fear River to fol- 
low the old track of the Highland emigrants, and see their 

The steamers on that river, as indeed on most of the long 
rivers in America, are stern-wheelers — large, slim, white, and 
deck-cabined, with only one paddle, but that of stupendous 
size, standing out like a mill-wheel from the stern and mak- 
ing one think, on seeing the steamer in motion, of a gigantic 
wheelbarrow drawn swiftly backwards. The advantage of the 
stern wheel for shallow and winding rivers is that it allows 
of a narrower beam than two paddles, and takes sufficient hold 
to propel a steamer in water too shallow for the screw. Our 
steamer that morning (flat-bottomed, of course, as all Ameri- 
can river steamers are) drew only eighteen inches of water, 
and went at great speed. 

We had not been steaming long up the broad pale earthy- 
brown river, through the flat expanse, with its rice planta- 
tions, its forest land, and its clearings, with the black stumps 
still standing like chessmen on a board, when I was struck 
with the extraordinary appearance of the leafless woods, which 


looked as if a deluge had just subsided, leaving the trees 
covered with masses of sea-weed. 

I gazed on this phenomenon with much wonder, till it 
suddenly occurred to me that this must he the famous Caro- 
lina moss (Tillandsia) of which I had often heard, but which 
I had not yet seen in any quantity. I satisfied myself by 
asking a tall, shaggy man, in leather leggings and a tattered 
cloak of Confederate gi'ay, who was standing near me. 

"Don't it grow whar you come from ?" asked the man, with 
the usual inquisitiveness of thinly peopled regions. On learn- 
ing that I was a stranger from the old country, he became 
exceedingly courteous, and told me that the moss I had in- 
quired about was very common in that State, and was much 
used by the people for stuffing seats and cushions and bed- 
ding, being first boiled to kill it. He said it seemed to feed 
upon the air. You could take a handful and fling it over the 
branch of another tree, and it would grow all the same. 

After a sail of some hours we reached a point from which 
a railway runs in a south-westerly direction, traversing part 
of the Scotch Country. Here we got into the "cars," and 
were soon bowling through the lonely forest on the narrow 
iron bed, sometimes over tracks that were irregularly covered 
for miles with still water, in which the trees and bushes that 
rose from it stood reflected as on the bosom of a lake. Now 
and then, at long intervals, we stopped at some little wayside 
station in the forest, with its cheerful signs of human life, 
its casks of turpentine and its piles of corded wood, around 
which the pines were being hewn down and cut, some of 
them into bars, others into cheese-like sections, for splitting 
into the shingles that are used for roofing instead of slates or 
tiles. Occasionally the train stopped in places where there 
was no station at all, to let some one out at the part of the 
forest nearest to his home. The conductor, who was con- 
tinually passing up and down through the cars, stopped the 
train whenever necessary, by pulling the cord that is slung 
along the roof of all American trains and communicates with 
the engine. 


We now began to get up into the higher country, amongst 
forests of giant pines, where the ground was rough, and where 
the sandy soil, looking in some places like patches of snow, 
seemed for the most part untouched by the hand of man. It 
was into these vast solitudes, of which we had as yet but 
touched the skirt, that the Highlanders, driven from their 
native land during the religious and political troubles of 
the last century, had come to find a home. 

North Carolina was long a favourite field for Highland 
emigi-ation. More than a hundred and forty years ago, 
when Alexander Clark, of Jura, went out to North Carolina, 
and made his way up the Cape Fear Eiver to Cross Creek, 
he found already there one Hector McNeill, (known as 
"Bluff" Hector, from his occupying the bluffs over the river,) 
who told him of many others settled farther back, most of 
them exiles from Scotland, consequent on the troubles that 
followed the downfall of the Stuarts, some of them Mac- 
donalds who had been fugitives from the massacre of Glencoe. 
The numbers were largely increased by the failure of the 
Jacobite Eebellion in 1745. The persecution to which the 
Highlanders were subjected after the scattering of the clans 
at Culloden made many of them eager to escape from the 
country; and when the Government, after the execution of 
many captured rebels, granted pardon to the rest on condi- 
tion of their taking the oath of allegiance and emigrating to 
the plantations of America, great numbers availed themselves 
of the opportunity. They were followed gradually by many 
of their kith and kin, till the vast plains and forest lands 
in the heart of North Carolina were sprinkled with a Gaelic- 
speaking population. 

In 1775, the Scotch Colony received a memorable acces- 
sion in the person of Flora Macdonald, who, with her hus- 
band and children, had left Scotland in poverty to seek a 
home with their friends in the American forests. The 
heroine was received at Wilmington^ and at various points 
along her route with Highland honours; and the martial 

lAt Wilmington a public ball was given in her honor. 


airs of her native land greeted her as she approached Cross 
Creek, the little capital of the Highland settlement. She 
arrived, hovrever, at an unhappy time. The troubles be- 
tween Great Britain and the colonies were coming to a head, 
and in a few months hostilities began. 

It is somewhat singular that many of these Highland 
colonists, the very men who had fought against the Hanover- 
ian dynasty at home, were now forward to array themselves 
on its side. But they had been Jacobites and Conservatives 
in Scotland, and conservatism in America meant loyalty to 
the King. Many of them, however, espoused the cause of 
Independence, and the declaration prepared in the County 
of Cumberland, immediately after the famous declaration of 
the neighboring County of Mecklenburg, has many High- 
land names attached. The crafty Governor of the colony, 
fearing the spread of anti-British sentiment, and knowing 
the influence of Flora Macdonald amongst the Scottish 
settlers, commissioned one of her kinsfolk (Donald Mac- 
donald), who had been an officer in the Prince's army in 1745, 
to raise a Highland regiment for the King, and gave the 
rank of captain to Flora's husband. This identified the 
heroine with the Royalist party, and had the effect of secur- 
ing the adhesion of hundreds of gallant men who would other- 
wise have held back or joined the other side. When the 
Royal Standard was raised at Cross Creek, 1,500 High- 
landers assembled in arms. Flora, it is said, accompanied 
her husband, and inspired the men with her own enthusiasm. 
She slept the first night in the camp, and did not return to 
her home till she saw the troops begin their march. The fate 
that awaited this gallant little force is known to all readers 
of history. It had got down the river as far as Moore's 
Creek, on its way to join Governor Martin, when, finding 
further advance checked by a force of Revolutionists under 
Lillington and Caswell, while another under Colonel Moore 
was hurrying up in pursuit, it was driven to attack the 
enemy in front on ground of his own choosing. In the first 
onslaught its ofiicers fell, confusion ensued, and after a 


severe struggle the Highlanders were routed. Flora's hus- 
band was taken prisoner and thrown into Halifax jail. 

Many of those who escaped were said to have joined an- 
other Highland regiment which was raised for the King 
under the title of the ¥orth Carolina Highlanders and fought 
the Eevolutionists till the close of the war. So deeply 
had they identified themselves with the Eoyal cause that 
when the war was ended most of them, including Flora Mac- 
donald and her husband, left America and returned to Scot- 
land. Those who remained in the settlement, divided by 
the war, were soon reunited by peace, became, as in duty 
bound, good citizens, and resumed the task of taming the 
savage wilderness in which they had cast their lot. 

When the troubles between ITorth and South were gather- 
ing to a head in 1860, the Highlanders, with their conserva- 
tive instincts, were almost to a man opposed to secession. 
But, taught to believe that their allegiance was due pri- 
marily, not to the Federal Government but to the State, no 
sooner did l^orth Carolina go out than they, with Highland 
loyalty, followed; and no men crowded to the front more 
eagerly, or fought more valiantly or more desperately to the 
bitter end. 

Almost every man of those I met had served in the Con- 
federate Army, and had left dead brothers or sons on the 
battlefield. Others, following the example of those who had 
left Scotland after the downfall of the Stuarts, and America 
after the triumph of the Revolution, had left the States 
altogether, and gone off to Mexico. 

Amongst those I found at Wilmington was one who was 
a fine specimen of the material that the Highlands have given 
to Carolina, a tall, dark-visaged, soldierly fellow— Gen. 
William MacRae— whose personal valour and splendid han- 
dling of his troops in battle had caused him to be repeatedly 
complimented by Lee in general orders. 

He seemed to belong to a fighting family. His eight 
brothers had all been either in the Army or Kavy. One of 


them was in the ISTational i^my when the war broke out, and 
considered that his oath bound him to the cause of the Union. 
He and his brothers accordingly fought on opposite sides, and 
in one battle, it is said, face to face. Their father, Gen. 
Alexander MacRae, had fought in the war with England in 
1812, and, on the outbreak of the Confederate war, though 
then a man of seventy years of age, again took the field, and 
commanded what was known as MacRae's batallion. He 
died not many weeks after I parted from him at Wilmington. 
He was the grandson of the Rev. Alexander MacRae, minister 
of Kintail, two of whose sons fell fighting for the Pretender 
at Culloden. The others emigTated to jSTorth Carolina, and 
one of them, Philip, who had also served in the Prince's 
army, cherished so deadly a hate of the English in conse- 
quence of the atrocities of Cumberland, that he would never 
learn the English language but spoke Gaelic to the day of his 
death. The family settled in Moore County, which is part 
of what is still called "The Scotch Country." 

The Life of Flora Macdonald had been published by 
her granddaughter in the form of an autobiography, said to 
be based on family records. The following is the passage 
in which the Scottish heroine is made to describe the episode 
in her life connected with America : 

"In 1Y75 my husband put in practice a plan he and I often 
talked over — that of joining the emigrants who were leaving 
their native hills to better their fortunes on the other side of 
the Atlantic. We were induced to favour this scheme more 
particularly as a succession of failures of the crops and un- 
foreseen family expenses rather cramped our small income. 
So, after making various domestic ai-rangements, one of 
which was to settle our dear boy Johnnie under the care of a 
kind friend. Sir Alexander McKenzie, of Delvin, near Dun- 
keld, until he was of age for an India appointment, we took 
ship for North America. The others went with us, my 
youngest girl excepted, whom I left with friends; she was 
only nine years old. Ann was a fine young woman, and my 
sons as promising fellows as ever a mother could desire. 


Believe me, dear Maggie, in packing the tHngs, the Prince's 
sheet was put up in lavender, so determined was I to be laid 
in it whenever it might please mj Heavenly Father to com- 
mand the end of mj days. On reaching !N'orth Carolina, 
Allan soon purchased and settled upon an estate; but our 
tranquillity was ere long broken up' by the disturbed state of 
the country, and my husband took an active part in that 
dreadful War of Independence. The Highlanders were now 
as forward in evincing attachment to the British Government 
as they had furiously opposed it in former years. My poor 
husband, being loyally disposed, was treated harshly by the 
opposite party, and was confined for some time in jail at 
Halifax. After being liberated he was officered in a royal 
corps — the ISTorth Carolina Highlanders ; and although 
America suited me and the young people, yet my husband 
thought it advisable, at the conclusion of the war, to quit a 
country that had involved us in anxiety and trouble almost 
from the first month of our landing on its shores. So, at a 
favourable season for departure, we sailed for our native 
country, all of us, excepting our sons, Charles and Ronald, 
who were in ]^ew York expecting appointments, which they 
soon after obtained ; Alexander was already, dear boy, at sea. 
Thus our family was reduced in number. On the voyage 
home all went well until the vessel encountered a French ship 
of war, and we were alarmed on finding that an action was 
likely to take place. The captain gave order for the ladies to 
remain below, safe from the skirmish; but I could not rest 
quiet, knowing my husband's spirit and energy would carry 
him into the thick of the fighting ; therefore I rushed up the 
companion-ladder — I think it was so called — and I insisted 
on remaining on deck to share my husband's fate, whatever 
that might be. Well, dear Maggie, thinking the sailors were 
not so active as they ought to have been — and they appeared 
crest-fallen, as if they expected a defeat — I took courage and 
urged them on by asserting their rights and the certainty of 
the victory. Alas ! for my weak endeavors to be of service ; 
I was badly rewarded, being thrown down in the noise and 


confusion on deck. I was fain to go below, suffering ex- 
cruciating agonj in my ann, which the doctor, who was for- 
tunately on board, pronounced to be broken. It was well 
set, yet from that time to this it has been considerably weaker 
than the other. So you see I have periled my life for both 
the houses of Stuart and Brunswick, and gained nothing 
from either side !" 

Major Jack Walkeb. 

The Cape Fear Country has just cause for pride in the 
illustrious characters who adorned our annals during the 
troublous time of the Revolution. Among them was one 
whose career was almost as picturesque as that of Flora 
Macdonald — Maj . Jack Walker. He was born near Alnwick 
Castle under the shadow of the Grampian Hills, and while 
yet a youth of twenty he landed at Old Brunswick in 1761. 
In stature he stood six feet four, and he possessed enormous 
strength. There were no lions for him to conquer, but once 
when a mad bull raged through the streets of Wilmington, 
Samson-like, he seized the infuriated animal by the horns, 
threw him to the ground and held him. As major of the 
N'orth Carolina Continentals, he fought valiantly at the 
!N"orth. He was ever a warm patriot and was violent against 
those who sympathized with the Tories. The people loved 
him and affectionately called him "Major Jack," and he 
wielded great power among them. Although he amassed a 
considerable fortune he never married, his large estate de- 
scending to a favorite nephew, Maj. John Walker, who was 
the father of Hon. Thomas D. Walker, Alvis Walker, John 
Walker, Capt. George Walker, Dr. Joshua C. Walker, 
Henry Walker, Calhoun Walker, and of the wives of Gen. 
W. H. C. Whiting, Maj. James H. Hill, Capt. C. P. Bolles, 
Capt. John Cowan and Mr. Frederick Fosgate. 

Early Years 


Let us contrast the swift steamer Wilmington with the 
primitive example of former days— let us turn back for three- 
quarters of a century, when the town of Wilmington con- 
tained only a tenth of its present population, and recall an 
incident, related to the writer by the late Col. J. G. Burr, 
which created the greatest excitement at the time, and which 
was the occasion of the wildest exuberance of feeling among 
the usuaUy staid inhabitants of the town— the arrival of the 
first steamboat in the Cape Fear River. A joint stock com- 
pany had been formed for the purpose of having one built to 
ply between Wilmington and Smithville or Wihnington 
and Fayetteville. Capt. Otway Burns, of privateer Snap 
Dragon fame during the War of 1812, was the contractor. 
The boat was built at Beaufort, where he resided. When the 
company was informed that the steamer was finished and 
ready for delivery, they dispatched an experienced sea cap- 
tain to take command and bring her to her destined port. Ex- 
pectations were on tiptoe after the departure of the captain; a 
feverish excitement existed in the community, which daily 
increased, as nothing was heard from him for a time, owing 
to the irregularity of the mails; but early one morning this 
anxiety broke into the wildest enthusiasm when it was an- 
nounced that the Prometheus was in the river and had turned 
the Dram Tree. Bells were rung, cannon fired, and the 
entire population, without regard to age, sex, or color, 
thronged the wharves to welcome her arrival. The tide was 
at the ebb, and the struggle between the advancing steamer 
and the fierce current was a desperate one; for she panted 
fearfully, as though wind-blown and exhausted. She could 
be seen in the distance, enveloped in smoke, and the scream 
of her high-pressure engine reverberated through the woods, 
while she slowly but surely crept along. As she neared Mar- 
ket Dock, where the steamer Wilmington is at present moored 


the Captain called through his speaking-trumpet to the engi- 
neer below: "Give it to her, Snyder"; and while Snyder 
gave her all the steam she could bear, the laboring Prome- 
tJieiLS snorted by, amid the cheers of the excited multitude. 
In those days the river traffic was sustained by sailing sloops 
and small schooners, with limited passenger accommodations 
and less comfort. The schedule time to Smithville, was four 
hours, wind and weather permitting, and the fare was one 
dollar each way. 

Note. — In April, 1819, President Monroe was carried on the 
Prometheus from Wilmington to Smithville. Steamboats were 
used on the Cape Fear very early after their introduction. 

On October 16, 1818, the Henrietta began to run regularly between 
Wilmington and Fayetteville. 


The growth of Wilmington was naturally slow, notwith- 
standing the energy of her inhabitants. Indeed, because of 
the constant exodus of J^orth Carolinians to the new coun- 
try at the West and South, the population of the State hardly 
increased at all during the early years of the last century. 
The population of ISTew Hanover County in 1810, was 11,465, 
and in 1820, it had fallen off to 10,866. In 1820, the popu- 
lation of Wilmington was whites, 1,098, slaves, 1,433, free 
negroes, 102 ; a total of 2,633. 

Especially, because of the absence of good roads and facili- 
ties for transportation — save by the river to Fayetteville — 
there was but little opportunity for extending the trade of 
the town. 

Further, the trouble with England, the embargo, the inter- 
ruption of commerce by the War of 1812-15, ynth. the attend- 
ant financial embarrassments, brought loss and ruin in their 

Superadded was the scourge of yellow fever during the 
summer of 1819, the disease in that season being more preva- 
lent throughout the Southern and Middle Atlantic States than 
has ever been known. Baltimore, as well as the more south- 


em ports, was entirely paralyzed. As in 1862, many fami- 
lies fled from Wilmington into the interior. 

Hardly had the desolation subsided and commerce revived, 
when Wilmington was visited by the most disastrous confla- 
gration recorded in its history. The total loss, as stated by 
some standard authorities, was about one million dollars, but 
the Wilmington Recorder estimated it at between six and 
seven hundred thousand dollars — an almost total obliteration 
of the wealth of the town. 

We quote from the Raleigh Register and North Carolina 
State Gazette of Friday, ISTovember 12, 1819. 

It is our painful duty to register a very extensive and calamitous 
fire which took place at Wilmington in our State; and we do it 
with those strong feelings of sympathy and regret which such 
events naturally inspire. We cannot portray the circumstances in 
which the town was placed more feelingly than it is depicted by the 
Editor of the Cape Fear Recorder; "who feels them most can paint 
them best." 

Fire! Wilmington (says the Recorder) has experienced more 
awful calamities by fire than any other place in the Union. Thrice, 
within twenty years, has the devouring element laid in ashes the 
abodes of her inhabitants. Enterprise, industry and the assistance 
of her neighbors, gave her, measurably, resuscitation, until the 
recent pressure of the times bended her down almost to the sink- 
ing point. Embarrassments in pecuniary matters had reached that 
state which appeared to baflSe relief. Sickness and death followed 
in the melancholy train. Despair had almost concluded that she 
could not sink beyond this. Hope, the bright luminary by which 
man's path in this world of care is heightened and cheered, brought 
consolation, and pointed to better days. Disease had ceased — • 
the periodical work of death completed — the late deserted abodes 
of her inhabitants filling — vessels arriving daily in her port — 
the appearance of business reviving. On Thursday morning, the 
4th inst., about three o'clock, the cry of the fire was given, and the 
delusion vanished. Her bright hopes were destroyed. 

The frightful picture is before us and it is our duty to present it 
to our distant readers. The fire originated back of a small building 
occupied by Mr. Samuel Adkins as a grocery store, situated on the 
wharf, near Dock Street, and adjoining the large brick warehouse 
lately occupied as the '76 Coffee-house, in part of which was the 
oflBce and counting house of Gabriel Holmes, Esq. 

From the best calculation we can make, the whole number of 
houses destroyed was about three hundred, of every description, in- 
cluding the Presbyterian Church, lately erected; and the total loss 
of property between six and seven hundred thousand dollars. 


The following persons are those who have lost by the destruction 
of buildings: 

Col. Archibald F. McNeill, John London, Col. Thos. Cowan, John 
Swann, jr., Wm. McKay, Estate of Thomas Jennings, Seth Hoard, 
Joseph Kellogg, Estate of J. London, Mrs. McRee, Jacob Levy, Rich- 
ard Bradley, Edward B. Dudley, Wm. J. Love, S. Springs, James 
Dickson, Hanson Kelly, David Smith, Henry Urquhart, John Walker, 
Geo. Jennings, Robert Rankin, State Bank, Estate of Nehemiah 
Harris, Estate of James Allen, M. Blake, Estate of M. Murphy, 
James Usher, Mrs. Hoskins, Mrs. Toomer, William Harris, James 
Marshall, Estate of P. Harris, Louis Pagget, Estate of Hilliary 
Moore, Reuben Loring, Wm. C. Lord, Gilbert Geer. This list is no 
doubt incomplete. 

Among those who suffered by the destruction of other property 
the principal in amount are, Isaac Arnold, Edmund Bridge, jr., 
Eleazar Tilden, Dudley and Van Cleef, Dudley and Dickinson, Miles 
Blake, Seth Hoard, Rd. Lloyd, J. Angomar, George Lloyd, H. Wooster, 
Patrick Murphy, B. C. Gillett, W. C. Radclift, Stewart Robson. 

It is almost impossible to ascertain the amount of individual 
losses. Every person within the bounds of the fire, and all those 
without it who removed their property, lost more or less. But the 
extent of a loss, as it regards merely its amount, is not the criterion 
of its injury — it is he that has lost his all, the unprotected, the 
friendless, and the helpless, that ought to excite our pity and com- 
passion, and calls for our assistance. 

Only one life was lost — Captain Farquhar McRae, after the fire 
had almost subsided, who ventured within a building for the pur- 
pose of saving property not his own. The walls fell, he was crushed 
to atoms. He was a useful citizen in his sphere of life and would 
have been regretted even had he died on the couch of disease. 

To the sufferings of others, Wilmington has never remained in- 
different — limited as were her means, to know them was all that 
was necessary for her to contribute her mite. She is now in distress 
— hundreds of her inhabitants are suffering. The knowledge of her 
situation will, we are certain, confer relief. 

And all this is the work of an incendiary. Suspicion has been 
afloat, but we suspect it has not been directed toward the right per- 
son. Higher views than those of plunder must have been the object, 
for we have heard of not much success and of very few attempts. 

(Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, Friday, December 3, 1819.) 

Wilmington Fike — We have pleasure in stating that a subscription 
has been opened for the relief of the sufferers by this disastrous 
event, not only among the citizens of Raleigh, but among the 
members of both houses of the Legislature. The precise amount is 
not at present ascertained; but we trust it will be such as will show 
the liberality of the subscribers, considering the hardness of the 



A distressing incident took place on the Cape Fear just 
after the ISTat Turner Insurrection in Virginia. All along the 
coast the negroes seem to have been excited and inflamed, and 
plots of insurrections were entered into at various points. 
At Wilmington such a plot was discovered, and there was 
much alarm felt on the Sound and on the isolated farms in 
the country, and the women and children who could hurried 
into town for safety. Information was at once dispatched to 
the officers at Fort Johnston, and immediately a company of 
soldiers hastened to Wilmington. Their arrival was entirely 
unexpected by the negro leaders, who quickly realized that 
their plans were known. 

Colonel Burr has left an account of the trial of the ring- 
leaders, from which the following is summarized: At the 
FaU Term of the Superior Court of 'New Hanover County, 
1831, six negroes were placed on trial, charged with attempt- 
ing to incite an insurrection among the blacks against the 
whites. The horrid massacre of the whites, men, women, and 
children, in the ISTat Turner rising had recently occurred, but 
although there was much feeling in the community, the trial 
was conducted with the utmost fairness and impartiality. 
The negroes had the benefit of the ablest counsel their owners 
could obtain. That distinguished jurist. Honorable Eobert 
Strange, subsequently United States Senator, and grand- 
father of Bishop Strange, presided with great dignity. Mr. 
Alexander Troy was Solicitor, and the Court appointed Mr. 
Joseph Alston Hill to assist the solicitor, and in fact he con- 
ducted the trial throughout. Colonel Burr says : 

I shall never forget the impression made upon me by the death- 
like silence that reigned in that crowded court room when Mr. Hill 
rose to address the jury. His exordium was delivered in calm and 
composed manner, and without the least exhibition of feeling, but 
as he proceeded in his argument he seemed to be transformed, his 
crest rose, his form dilated, and his eyes flashed continuous fire, 
while his rapid but graceful gesticulation added much to the impres- 
siveness of the scene. His denunciation was overwhelming, his 
sarcasm withering, and his burning eloquence flowed onward and 


onward like the rush of a mighty mountain torrent. The doom of 
the prisoners at the bar was sealed; it could be seen in the com- 
pressed lips and clinched hands of the jury. 

Mr. Burr adds: "Tlie six criminals who were convicted 
were executed together on the same scaffold." 

As far as known this was the only movement of the kind in 
the history of the Cape Fear. 

On the other hand, during the War between the States, 
which arose because of the existence of domestic slavery at 
the South — when the negroes knew that President Lincoln 
had declared them free — there was no insurrection anywhere 
in the Southern States; and while the country was denuded 
of the white men who were away from their farms in the 
Army, the negroes protected the white women and children, 
and served them with fidelity. This general fact and the gen- 
eral display of sincere affection and devotion by the negroes 
to the families of their ovmers record more certainly than 
words can the attitude of the races at the South towards each 
other during slavery times, even though one race was in sub- 
jection to the other. 


By Dk. John Hampden Hill. 

About 41 years ago Dr. John Hampden Hill, a promi- 
nent Cape Fear planter of Lilliput, a gentleman of culture 
and refinement, generally respected and admired, wrote some 
interesting reminiscences of the lower Cape Fear and for 
personal reasons instructed his friend, Mr. DuBrutz Cutlar, 
to reserve them from publication until after the author's 
death. Upon my earnest solicitation, however, he permitted 
me to copy these papers in the year 1893 and to use them in a 
series of newspaper articles entitled A Colonial Plantation. 
I reproduce them here as worthy of more permanent record. 

Doctor Hill was born April 28, 1807, at Hyrneham, and 
died February 19, 1893, at Goldsboro, full of years and the 
consolations of an honorable Christian life. 


In the year 1665, Sir John Yeamans, of the Island of 
Barbadoes, fitted out a small vessel, and sent her under the 
command of a Captain Hilton, on a voyage of discovery, Hil- 
ton, according to instructions, explored the Cape Fear Eiver. 
Sir John Yeamans, himself, afterwards visited the Cape 
Fear, and brought a colony with him, and made a settlement 
on the west bank of the river. 

ISTot designing to follow the progress of Yeamans with his 
colony, we will return to the Cape Fear, of whose early tradi- 
tion the writer has undertaken, at the solicitation of some 
highly valued friends, to narrate (so far as his memory 
serves) some imperfect sketches. 

After this section began to be visited, and settlements made 
by emigrants from Europe and from the other provinces, 
amongst the earliest places that attracted attention, was Stag 
Park. It was first located and patented by George Burring- 
ton, then Governor of the Province of ISTorth Carolina. This 
Governor Burrington was a very worthless and profligate 
character, so much so, that on one occasion being at Edenton, 
he was presented by the Grand Jury of Chowan County for 
riotous and disorderly conduct on the streets, with a party of 
rowdy companions. Of such material as this did our English 
rulers make governors for the guardianship of the lives and 
fortunes of their loyal subjects in these provinces. 

After having disgraced himself in America, Burrington re- 
turned to England, where, still pursuing his profligate habits, 
he not long after lost his life in a street brawl in the city of 
London. Before that event he had contracted a debt to a 
Mr. Strudwick, for which he mortgaged the Stag Park es- 
tate of ten thousand acres, and a large body of land which he 
owned in what was known as the Hawfields in Orange County. 
]\Ir. Strudwick sent his son, Edmund, to look after his prop- 
erty, thus acquired in this country. 

The tradition was that this gentleman had fallen into 
disfavor with his friends on account of having married an 
actress in the city of London, which was the cause of his 
coming to settle in America. His residence was divided be- 


tween Stag Park and the Hawfields. He left a son wliom the 
writer has only heard mentioned as Major Strudwick and as 
quite an influential citizen of Orange County, where he 
chiefly resided. He married a Miss Shepperd, of Orange, 
by which marriage there were several sons and daughters, of 
whom the late Mr. Samuel Strudwick, of Alabama, was the 
eldest. This gentleman was a successful planter and acquired 
a large estate. He was of high intelligence, and remarkable 
for his fine conversational talent. 

Dr. Edmund Strudwick, of Hillsboro, is well known as one 
of the ablest physicians of the State, and is especially eminent 
as a surgeon. Betsy, the eldest daughter, married Mr. Paoli 
Ashe, and was the mother of the Hon. Thomas S. Ashe, one 
of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of iTorth 
Cai'olina, and a gentleman distinguished alike for profes- 
sional ability and great worth and purity of character. 

Stag Park was sold about the year 1817 for division among 
the heirs, and was purchased by Ezekiel Lane, Esq., for 
$10,000. This gentleman we will have occasion to mention 
further on. 

The next place, descending the ITortheast, is the Neck, 
the residence of Gov. Samuel Ashe, who, together with 
his brother, Gen. John Ashe, was amongst the most promi- 
nent and influential characters in the Cape Fear region, both 
before and after the Eevolutionary "War. Governor Ashe 
held with distinction the position of District Judge up to the 
time of his election as GiDvernor of the State. His eldest son, 
John Baptista Ashe, was also elected Governor, but died be- 
fore he could be inducted into ofl&ce. There were two other 
sons of Governor Ashe, Samuel and Thomas. The latter was 
the grandfather of the present Judge Ashe, already spoken of, 
and the former will be mentioned further on. There was still 
another son, named Cincinnatus, who vtdth some other youths 
of the Cape Pear gentry volunteered as midshipman on board 
a privateer, fitted out at Wilmington, and commanded by a 
Captain Allen, an Englishman. The vessel went to sea, and 
was supposed to have been sunk by a British ship, or found- 


ered in some other way, as she was never more heard of. The 
writer remembers when he was a child, an old lady, a Mrs. 
Allen, entirely blind, the widow of the English captain, who 
lived with the families of the J^ortheast, first one and then 
another, with whom she was always a welcome guest, and 
treated with much respect and consideration. 

Below the IsTeck, and within the precinct known as Eocky 
Point, was Green Hill, the residence of Gen. John Ashe. 
This gentleman did more, probably, than any other man in the 
Province towards rousing the spirit of resistance against 
what was called British oppression. He was the prime mover 
and leader of the party which resisted the Governor in his 
attempt to enforce the Stamp Act. And when the war of the 
Revolution did break out, he raised a regiment at his own 
expense, so ardently were his feelings enlisted in the cause. 

The history of General Ashe's services is, or ought to be, 
known to the people of the Cape Fear. But it may not be 
known that he died in obscurity, and the place of his inter- 
ment cannot be pointed out. The story is that on a visit to 
his family at Green Hill when in feeble health, he was be- 
trayed by a faithless servant to a party of soldiers, sent out 
from the garrison at Wilmington for his capture. Taken to 
Wilmington, he was confined in Craig's "bull-pen," as it was 
called. Here his health became so feeble that he was re- 
leased on parole, and attempted to get to his family at Hills- 
boro. But he reached no farther than Sampson Hall, the 
residence of Col. John Sampson, in the county of that name, 
Here he died and was buried, and there is neither stone nor 
mound to mark the spot. 

General Ashe left a son who also had served in the War 
of the Revolution — Maj. Samuel Ashe. He was an active 
politician of the Democrat-Republican party, and represented 
for many years the County of I^ew Hanover in the Legis- 
lature. Of the three daughters of General Ashe, one married 
Colonel Alston, of South Carolina. Gov. Joseph Alston of 
South Carolina was her son. Another married Mr. John 
Davis; and the third, Mr. William H. Hill. The last was 


the mother of Mr. Joseph Alston Hill, the most talented 
man of the family, with the most brilliant promise of dis- 
tinction when he died at the age of thirty-six. This Green 
Hill property is now owned by the estate of the late Maj. 
John Walker. 

The Ashe family in early times after the Eevolution dif- 
fered in polities with the generality of the Cape Fear gentry. 
The Governor and his sons, with the exception of Col. Samuel 
Ashe, were leaders of the Republican or Jeffersonian faction, 
whereas the large majority of the gentry and educated class 
were Federalists of the Hamilton school. After the adoption 
of the Federal Constitution, and a Republican form of gov- 
ernment was established, there is no doubt but that a good 
deal of feeling and prejudice existed against what was called 
too much liberty and equality, and the practice of some of 
the old Republicans was not always consistent with their 
professed principles. 

The next place of note, and adjoining Green Hill to the 
north, was Moseley Hall, the residence of the Moseley family, 
and one of prominence in colonial times. One of them, Samp- 
son Moseley, Esq., was a member of the King's Council and 
Surveyor General of the Province, but the writer does not 
know that any of the male members of the family survived 
the Revolution, or that any of their descendants whatever 
are left. They were nearly allied by blood to the Lillingtons. 
One of the daughters of the family married a Mr. Carlton 
Walker, and left one son, John Moseley Walker, who died 
soon after coming of age, and the estate passed to his half 
brothers and sisters. This was a large and quite valuable 
place and was said to have been handsomely improved, but 
all that the writer remembers seeing were the remains of 
what were said to have been fine old avenues. 

Crossing Clayton Creek, we come to the next place below, 
known in old times as Clayton Hall, the residence of a Mr. 
Clayton, a Scotch gentleman, who died leaving no descend- 
ants, though I believe the Restons of Wilmington were his 
nearest kin. This property, which was at one time regarded 


as the best plantation in l^ew Hanover County, was pur- 
chased hj Col. Samuel Ashe. Colonel Ashe, when I knew 
him, was about the only survivor of the olden times on the 
Northeast Eiver. He had been a soldier in the War of the 
Kevolution, had entered the Army when he was but seven- 
teen years old and served through the last three years of the 
war, was at the siege of Charleston, and was there made 
prisoner. Colonel Ashe was a gentleman of commanding ap- 
pearance, tall and erect, with prominent features, deep- 
sunken, but piercing eyes, of fine manners and bearing, of 
remarkable colloquial powers, and manner and style of narra- 
tion most engaging. Especially was his fund of anecdotes 
and incidents relating to the olden times most interesting, and 
seemed almost inexhaustible. Of him Mr. George Davis, in 
his address at Chapel Hill in 1855, spoke as follows: "In 
my early youth I remember an old man, bowed by age and 
infirmities, but of noble front and most commanding presence. 
Old and young gathered around him in love and veneration 
to listen to his stories of the olden times. And as he spoke 
of his country's trials, and of the deeds and sufferings of her 
sons, his eyes flashed with the ardor of youth, and his voice 
rang like the battle charge of a bugle. He was the soul of 
truth and honor, with the ripe wisdom of a man, and the 
guileless simplicity of a child. He won strangers to him 
with a look, and those who knew him loved him with a most 
filial affection. JSTone ever lived more honored and revered. 
!N'one ever died leaving a purer or more cherished memory. 
This was Colonel Samuel Ashe, ^the last of all the Romans.' " 
The old Clayton Hall mansion, left for a long time un- 
tenanted, went to decay, and there was nothing left of it when 
the writer can remember but the foundation. He can remem- 
ber an old vault, which stood to the north of the creek, in 
which it is said the remains of Mr. Clayton rested. After 
Colonel Ashe came in possession of the place, he built imme- 
diately on the bank of the creek, so that you could stand on 
one end of his piazza and fish. The spring out of which they 
got their drinking water flowed from the base of a rock, which 


formed the bank of the creek, and when the tide was up, the 
spring was overflowed. 

It was a great treat to visit the old Colonel and hear him 
talk of old times. His memory was remarkable, and his 
style of narration uncommonly good. 

He seemed familiar with the genealogy of every family that 
had ever lived on the Cape Fear, and their traditions. It is 
much to be regretted that some one who had the capacity could 
not have chronicled his narratives as they were related by 

Colonel Ashe removed from Rocky Point when he was 
well advanced in years, to a place which he ovmed on 
the Cape Fear, in the neighborhood of Fayetteville, where he 
lived several years. His only male descendant of the name 
in the State, I believe, is Samuel A. Ashe, Esq., of Raleigh. 

Colonel Ashe, on his removal, sold the Clayton Hall estate 
to Dr. James F. McRee, who retired from the practice of 
medicine in Wilmington and made his residence here, where 
he carried on planting operations with fair success. He 
abandoned the old settlement, and built on what was known 
as the Sand Ridge, and renamed the place, calling it Ashe- 
Moore, in compliment to the two families so long known and 
distinguished in the Cape Fear region. Dr. McRee had ac- 
quired a higher reputation than any other physician of his 
day in the Cape Fear region, or even in the whole State. The 
writer enjoyed the privilege of being his pupil, and of his 
long friendship, and to speak of him in such terms as he 
esteemed him, as a noble gentleman and physician, might 
seem like extravagant eulogy. 

The next place on the river is the Vats. Here the river 
changes its course, making a pretty sudden bend, and a prom- 
inent point of rocks jutting into the stream gives the name 
of Rocky Point to all that portion of country lying west, as 
far as the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad. This place waa 
first located by Col. Maurice Moore, one of the earliest 
pioneers of the Cape Fear section. It is related that Colonel 
Moore and Governor Burrington, both of them exploring in 


searcli of ricli lands, happened to reacli this point about the 
same time. As they stepped on shore from their boats, both 
claimed possession by right of prior location and occupation. 
But the Colonel stoutly resisted his Excellency's pretensions, 
and by dint of strong will held the property. The arbitrary 
disposition exhibited on this occasion rather strikingly illus- 
trates what is said to have been characteristic of the Moore 
family, especially that branch of it. The lands of this place 
were very rich, and it continued in the Moore family for 
several generations. It was finally sold by Judge Alfred 
Moore to Mr. Ezekiel Lane, a most worthy gentleman, who 
here laid the foundation of quite a large estate, acquired by 
farming alone. Commencing with small means he became 
the largest landowner in the county of 'New Hanover, his 
estate being mostly composed of those Rocky Point lands. 

The next two places adjoining and to the south of the Vats, 
were Spring Field and Strawberry, owned by, and the latter 
place the residence of Mr. Levin Lane, a son of Mr. E. 
Lane, a planter like his father, and a most worthy and highly 
respectable gentleman. 

Let us return to the Vats and cross the river by the ferry 
there; traveling eastward by the New Bern road about 
four miles, we come to Lillington Hall, the residence of Gen. 
Alexander Lillington. It would seem like a singular selec- 
tion for a gentleman to have made for a residence, just 
on the border of the great Holly Shelter pocosin or dismals, 
and quite remote from the other gentry settlements. But in 
those days stock raising was much attended to, and here im- 
mense tracts of unoccupied lands furnished rich pasturage 
and fine range. 

General Lillington was nearly allied to the Moseleys, of 
Moseley Hall, and came to reside on the Cape Fear about the 
same time with them. He was an ardent Whig and patriot, 
and taking up arms early in the Revolution, he soon distin- 
guished himself as a bold and sagacious leader. On the at- 
tempt of the Scotch settlers about Cross Creek to move on 


Wilmin^on for the purpose of cooperating with the British 
force intended to invade and subjugate Xorth Carolina, Gen- 
eral Lillington speedily organized the militia of ISTew Han- 
over and Duplin Counties and marched rapidly in the direc- 
tion from which the enemy approached. Selecting a position 
at Moore's Creek where it was crossed by a bridge, he threw 
up intrenchments and awaited the approach of the Scots. On 
the arrival of General Caswell, the superior in command, he 
approved of Lillington's plans and arrangements for meeting 
the enemy. The result of the battle which ensued is well 
known to history, and its success was, by his contemporaries, 
mainly attributed to Lillington's prompt movement and skill- 
ful arrangements. 

The Lillington Hall mansion was a quaint old structure of 
ante-Eevolutionary date, and standing alone, there was no 
house that approached it in size or appearance in that wild 
region. When the writer visited there while a youth there 
was quite a library of rare old English books, which would be 
highly prized at this day. At that time it was owned and 
occupied by Mr. Samuel Black, a highly respectable and 
worthy gentleman, who had married the widow of Mr. John 
Lillington, the youngest son of the Colonel. This place, like 
all the residences of the early gentry, has gone out of the 
family and into stranger hands. 

As there is no other place of note on the east side of the 
river, we will recross the ferry at the Vats, and following the 
road leading west to where it crosses the main county road, 
we come to Moore Fields. This was the residence of George 
Moore, Esq., one of the most prominent gentlemen of his day, 
both before and after the Eevolution. I remember the old 
mansion as it stood, but much dilapidated. Not a vestige 
of it is left now. There had been raised near the house two 
mounds for rabbit-warrens, and near by was a fishpond. Mr. 
Moore was the father of a numerous progeny. He was twice 
married. His first wife was a Miss Mary Ashe, a sister, I 
believe, of Governor Ashe; the second was a Miss Jones. 
There is extant an old copy of the Church of England prayer- 


book in the possession of one of Ms descendants (Dr. Wm. H. 
Moore) in which is recorded the births and names of his 
children by these marriages, and there were twenty-seven. 
From these or the sunavors, for many of them must have 
died during infancy, have sprung many of the families of the 
Cape Fear region, some of whose descendants are still living 
there, among whom can be mentioned the Hon. George Davis, 
who has no superior if any equal here or in any other part of 
the State. Also, the Hon. Thos. S. Ashe is one of the lineal 
descendants of this old stock. There was one of the gTand- 
daughters, Miss Sallie Moore, who was reputed to be the 
greatest beauty of her day. Her father, William Moore, re- 
moved to the State of Tennessee, where she was heard of still 
living a few years since. 

George Moore of Moore Fields, as he was familiarly called, 
was remarkable for his gTeat energy and good management ; a 
man of considerable wealth, owning many slaves. He had 
a summer residence on the Sound, to reach which he crossed 
the ISTortheast River at the Vats ferry; and from a mile 
or two to the east of it, he had made a perfectly straight road, 
ditched on each side, twenty miles in length. This road, 
though no longer used, can still be traced. It is related that 
when corn was wanted at the summer place, one hundred 
negro fellows would be started, each with a bushel bag on his 
head. There is quite a deep ditch leading from some large 
bay swamps lying to the west of the county road. It used to 
be called the Devil's ditch, and there was some mystery and 
idle tradition as to why and how the ditch was cut there. It 
was doubtless made to drain the water from those bays, to 
flood some lands cultivated in rice, which were too low to be 
drained for corn. 

We will now pass down the old Swann Point Avenue to the 
county road, and traveling west, soon reach and cross Turkey 
Creek, and come to that famous old plantation. Spring 
Garden, the residence of old Frederick Jones, Esq., noted in 
his day as being the most industrious and successful farmer 
in all the country round. Mr. Jones was a Virginian, in- 


duced to settle on the Cape Fear by Mr. Swann, whose niece 
he had married. Besides the son, who assumed the name of 
Swann, there were five daughters, one of whom married Mr. 
John Hill, of Fair Fields. She was the mother of the late 
Dr. Frederick J. and John Hill. Another married Michael 
Sampson, Esq., of Sampson Hall. The remaining three 
daughters married three brothers, Scotch gentlemen, by the 
name of Cutlar. Only one of these left children. Dr. Eoger 
Cutlar, who was the father of the late Dr. Frederick J. Cutlar, 
of Wilmington, eminent in his profession, and for his purity 
of character. From this good old Spring Garden stock, also 
comes the writer's best esteemed and most worthy friend, 
DuBrutz Cutlar, Esq.^ 

We will now retrace our steps across Turkey Creek, and 
pass over the river at the Oaks, and going through what waa 
called Legere's I^eck, we come to the Castle Haynes. Legere's, 
a deep neck formed by the river on one side and Prince 
George's Creek on the other, was like Belahonea, another 
great resort for deer and a famous hunting ground. Castle 
Haynes was the residence of a Mr. Haynes, of whose history 
the writer has heard but little, except that he was the ancestor 
of the Waddell family, among whom I have heard related the 
tradition of his sad death by drowning. It is said that he 
was ill of a fever, and while in delirium, he rose from his 
bed and rushed to the creek, which was near by, plunged in, 
and was drowned, before assistance could reach him. 

This Mr. Haynes left an only daughter, who married Col. 
Hugh Waddell. From that union sprang the family of that 
name, so long and respectably known on the Cape Fear. 

Turning east from Castle Haynes and crossing the county 

iBesides the plantations mentioned in this paper, near the lower 
Ferry were Mulberry and the Oaks, the latter being the residence 
of Mr. Swann. Mulberry was the headquarters of General Lillington 
while hemming in the British forces that occupied Wilmington. 
And where the railroad crosses the county road, one mile south of 
Rocky Point station, was Hyrneham, built by Colonel Hyrne, and 
famous in the early days of the settlement. Later it was the birth- 
place of Doctor Hill. 


road, we come to the Hermitage, the residence of the Bur- 
gwyn family. The founder of this family was Mr. John 
Burgwyn, an English gentleman, in olden times an opulent 
merchant, who carried on an extensive commerce between 
Wilmington and Bristol in England. He must have had 
fine taste, as displayed by the manner in which the grounds 
around the Hermitage were laid off and improved. Its fine 
avenues and handsomely arranged pleasure grounds surpassed 
everything in the whole country round. Mr. George Bur- 
gwyn, who occupied the Hermitage after his father's death, 
was also a gentleman of good taste, and devoted much atten- 
tion to the decoration of the place, and kept it up in handsome 

Mr. George Burgwyn reared a numerous and highly re- 
spectable family. His oldest son, Capt. John Burgwyn, of 
the United States Army, was killed in battle in the Mexican 
War, and his grandson, Gen. George B. Anderson, died 
of a wound received at the battle of Antietam. 

We will turn now westward, and crossing the county road 
at a short distance, come to Bocky Bun, where lived Dr. 
^Nathaniel Hill. In earlier times this place was the residence 
of Mr. Maurice Jones, whose daughter Doctor Hill married. 
Of the history of this gentleman, Mr. Jones, the writer never 
heard much. But a tradition worth relating will illustrate 
his firmness and remarkable seK-possession and presence of 
mind. He was a great woodsman, and in the habit of still- 
hunting. On one occasion he was creeping to shoot a deer, 
which was feeding at a dogwood tree. When, feeling that 
something was dragging at one of his legs, he turned his head 
and saw that it was a large rattlesnake, which had struck 
and fastened his fangs in the buckskin leggings that all 
huntsmen wore at that day, he deliberately crawled on, 
dragging the snake as he went. Getting within proper range, 
he fired and killed the deer, then turning, killed the snake. 

Dr. ISTathaniel Hill was sent to Scotland when he was quite 
young, where he was placed with an apothecary. Having 
completed a full term at this business, he entered the medical 


college at Edinburgb, where he remained until he had com- 
pleted his medical course. Returning home before he was 
quite of age, he entered actively upon the practice of his pro- 
fession at Wilmington. Full of energy and earnestness, with 
remarkable sagacity and decision, he very soon acquired the 
confidence of the community. His reputation was established 
and not surpassed in the whole Cape Fear region. 

After a laborious and lucrative practice of twenty-five 
years, Doctor Hill retired with an independent estate to Eocky 
Run where he had built a comfortable and commodious house. 
Here, before the prime of his life was over, and in the full 
vigor of manhood, he took up his abode, and for many years 
dispensed a liberal hospitality to a large circle of friends and 

On the first day of January of each year, that being Doctor 
Hill's birthday, a numerous party of friends and relatives al- 
ways assembled at Rocky Run, to celebrate the event with 
feasting and good cheer. Then it was that those fine deer 
hunts came off, which were so skillfully conducted that they 
were invariably successful. The standers were judiciously 
placed, and the bringing down of the game depended on their 
skill as marksmen. In the management of these hunts, the 
guests, whether old or young, were invariably placed at the 
best stands, the Doctor taking the chances as they might arrive 
for himself. He always carried a long flint-and-steel single- 
barrel silver-mounted gun, and it was not often that he failed 
to bring down the deer coming fairly by him within one hun- 
dred yards. Many a day of sport has the writer enjoyed 
with this noble old gentleman at his fine old seat. Most sys- 
tematic and punctual in his habits, invariably as we rose from 
the breakfast table (8 o'clock in winter) the driver was wait- 
ing with horses and dogs, eager for the drive, and as punc- 
tually we returned by 2 o'clock, the dinner hour, as the family 
were never kept waiting. 

The old Rocky Run mansion was destroyed by fire many 
years since, and the place has shared the fate of all others on 
the Northeast, and fallen into stranger hands. 


The next two places below on the river were Eose Hill, the 
residence of the Quince family, and Rock Hill, of the Davises, 
two rather inconsiderable and inferior rice plantations. The 
Quinces were among the earliest of the gentry settlers on the 
Cape Fear. I have heard an old story related about a Mr. 
Parker Quince, somewhat characteristic, I presume, of him- 
self and his times. It seems that he was a merchant and quite 
a trafficker. In sending an order for goods on one occasion to 
London (from whence most all importations were made) a 
dozen cheeses were included and several gross of black tacks. 
Instead of the cheeses, they sent a dozen English chaises, and 
for the tacks there were sent an immense number of black 
jacks, as they were called, a kind of japanned tin drinking 
mug; his correspondent apologizing for not completing the 
order as to the cups, as he had bought up all that could be 
found in the shops of London. Mr. Quince either spelled 
badly, or wrote illegibly, probably a little of both. 

There was one of the Quinces, who for some family reason 
or other, adopted the name of Hasell — ^WiUiam Surrenza 
Hasell. He was much esteemed and the intimate friend of 
many of the gentlemen of his day. When party politics ran 
high between the old Federalists and Eepublicans he edited 
a paper called the Minerva, advocating the principles of the 
Federal party, and was well sustained and caressed by his 
friends. He must have been a man of fine literary taste, 
judging from the number of old volumes of the best English 
literature, with his name and coat of arms inscribed on them, 
which I have come across in the old libraries. 

Rock Hill was handsomely located on a bluff commanding 
a fine view of the river. It was in old times the residence 
of Mr. Jehu Davis, and more lately of Mr. Thos. J. Davis, 
his son. The name of Davis, both in early and later times on 
the Cape Fear, has always been associated with all that was 
highly respectable and honorable, and it has been most emi- 
nently sustained in the person of Hon. George Davis of Wil- 
mington, and the late Bishop Davis of South Carolina. 

Proceeding further down, but not immediately on the river, 


was once a j)lace known as Nesces Creek, on a creek of that 
name, which before the Revolution was the residence of 
Arthur Mabson, Esq., a gentleman noted for his great energy 
and industry, by which he had accumulated a considerable 
estate, but he died the first year of the war at the early age of 
forty. This place was long ago abandoned, and I do not sup- 
pose there is a vestige of its improvements left 

Crossing N'esces Creek and going a mile or so further on, 
we come to where once stood Fair Fields, also gone totally 
to ruin. Here lived Mr. John Hill, a gentleman of note in his 
day, frequently representing the county in the Legislature. 
He had been a soldier in the Revolution, entered the Army 
while quite young, and served with General Greene in his 
southern campaigns. 

Passing on, we come to Sans Souci. Of the early history 
of this place the writer knows nothing. For many years past 
it has been the residence of the late Mr. Arthur J. Hill. 

Crossing Smith's Creek we come to Hilton, the place 
named for the first adventurer who explored the river, 
Captain Hilton.^ This was the residence of Cornelius Har- 
nett, Esq., and the old mansion erected by him, still standing, 
is the only one left of all the old places on the river. It is not 
surprising that this point should have attracted the admira- 
tion of those who first beheld it and gave it its name. A fine 
bluff, near the junction of Smith's Creek with the river, it has 
a commanding and extensive view up and down the stream. 
Although much out of repair and the grounds mutilated by 
the deep cut of a railroad passing through them, it is still the 
most attractive spot near the city of Wilmington. 

Cornelius Harnett was about the most noted and conspicu- 
ous personage of his day in the whole Cape Fear region. 
'No man more entirely commanded the confidence and ad- 
miration of the community in which he lived. ISTotwithstand- 
ing that Hilton was not within the corporate limits of the 
tovm of Wilmington, yet in such high estimation was Mr. 
Harnett held, that by a special ordinance he was invested 

iThis seems to be an error. 


with all the rights and privileges of a resident, and entitled 
to vote in their municipal and borough elections. 

Either on account of feeble health, or advanced life, Mr. 
Harnett was not an active participant as a soldier in the war 
of the Eevolution; both heart and means were nevertheless 
enlisted in the cause, and after Wilming-ton was occupied 
bj the British, he was wrested from a sick bed and confined 
in their prison, where he died in consequence of their harsh 
and brutal treatment. 

Mr. Harnett, I believe, left no descendants, and in after 
times Hilton became the property and the residence of Wm. 
H. Hill, Esq. This gentleman was said to have pos- 
sessed fine qualities of both head and heart. Genial of tem- 
per and fond of conviviality, he attracted many friends 
around him, and was always the life of his company. He was 
a leading spirit among the gentlemen of the Federal party, 
when politics ran high, and represented the Wilmington dis- 
trict in Congress during the administration of the elder 


(Wilmington newspaper of 1839.) 

Begun 1751. Finished 1770. Demolished 1839. 

The last services in St. James' Church were of course at- 
tended vdth more than ordinary interest, and fancy could 
fashion sentiments something like the following, as passing 
through the minds of the congregation : 

Time-honored fane which oft our childhood sought 
On welcome Sabbath hours, and hither brought 
Our young affections' offering — happy days — 
That viewed the future tinged with golden rays. 

And as our years advanced with stealthy pace. 
With loins full girded, entered on Life's race, 
Here did we turn for lines of heavenly truth, 
Her wisdom teaching rules, fit guides of youth. 

When cares and troubles gloomed the path of life, 
Here sought we still fresh vigor for the strife; 
Religion's blessed precepts here were heard. 
And lips devout dispensed the inspiring word. 


Our fathers, too, this holy temple trod, 

With grateful hearts they came to worship God, 

In contrite spirit, humbly, lowly knelt. 

And cheerful faith, with true devotion felt. 

Here have we gathered 'round the mournful bier, 
Whilst breaking hearts scarce shed one burning tear, 
Here have we heard the last, long lingering knell 
Of "earth to earth" and "dust to dust" to dwell. 

Thrice honoured fane! and must thou fall at last? 
May not thy merits plead — thy history past — ? 
Will not fond love avert the fearful doom? 
Sounds there no warning voice from yonder tomb? 

Farewell, old Church! we bid thee, then, farewell! 
Yet do the parting words with sorrow swell 
Our hearts and eyes; and e'en we linger still — 
The cord that binds us here cannot be broke at will. 


The ceremony of laying the corner stone of the new 
Church of St. James was performed on Wednesday, the 3d 
of April, 1839. The Eev. K. B. Drane, Eector of the Parish, 
ojfficiated in the absence of the Bishop of the Diocese. At 
10 o'clock the Congregation, and a large concourse of others, 
assembled at the Lecture Room (the present place of wor- 
ship), thence moved in procession to the site of the new 
edifice at the southeast corner of Market and Third Streets. 
The service set forth for such occasions was there gone 
through with, and the stone adjusted to its proper place. In 
the cavity of the stone, was placed the scroll, copied below, to- 
gether with the articles named upon it. The Rector then 
pronounced a very appropriate and impressive address. 

The day was bright and lovely, beaming auspiciously 
upon the scene, inspiring a cheering hope of a happy termi- 
nation to the undertaking so happily begun. 

Peo Deo, Pro Ecclesia, Pbo Hominum Salute. 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost — ^Amen. 

This corner of St. James' Church is laid this third day of April, 
in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty- 
nine (1839). 


The Right Rev. Levi Silliman Ives, D.D., LL.D., being the Bishop 
of the Diocese of North Carolina. 

The Rev. Robert Brent Drane, being the Rector of St. James 
Church and officiating on the occasion. 

Db. a. J. DeRosset, 

W. C. LOED, 

Thos. H. Wright, 
A. J. DeRosset, Je., 
Wm. B. Giles, 

WM. a. W TT.T.TATVr a, 

Jas. T. Miller, 


The design of this building was by T. TJ. Walter, of 
Philadelphia, and was executed under the direction of John 
S. Morris of ^ew York, by John C. Wood, as principal 
mason, and C. H. Dall as carpenter. 

"Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid 
—even Jesus Christ." "May the gates of Hell never prevail 
against it." 

The original Parish Church of St. James stood about 
fifty yards from this spot, near the comer of the graveyard. 
It was commenced in the year 1Y51, but not completed until 
17T0. In consequence of its location (partly in the street), 
its decayed condition, and the incommodiousness of its inter- 
nal arrangement, it was taken down in 1839, and a portion 
of its materials used in the execution of this building. The lot 
upon which the present church is erected, was purchased 
from Dr. A. J. DeRosset, Sen'r., for the sum of one thousand 
dollars, of which sum the Ladies' Working Society and the 
Juvenile Working Society have agreed to pay six hundred 



I find in the ann^^al report of Wm. P. Craighill, then 
Major of Engineers and Brevet Lieut. Colonel, U. S. A., for 
the year 1873, a brief history of old surveys and maps and 
charts made of the Cape Fear River between its mouth and 
the port of Wilming-ton, which is a record of some value to 
us. I have also found in the records of the War Department 
of 1828, a lengthy report by Capt. Hartman Bache, of the 
Engineers, transmitted by Maj. Gen. Alexander MacComb, 
Chief Engineer, to Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, 
who in turn transmitted it to Congress, which had called for 
it by resolution dated the 20th of December, 1827. This re- 
port is not only interesting but valuable, as it indicates the 
initial measures recommended and subsequently carried out 
by the Federal Government for the removal of obstructions to 
navigation between the bar and the port of Wilmington, the 
navigation of the river being greatly hampered by shoal water, 
which afforded, under the most favorable conditions, a 
channel of less than nine feet. 

It also appears from this report and from other data, that 
the State work under Mr. Hamilton Fulton, State Engineer 
in 1823, was unsuccessful and was condemned in its most 
important features by Captain Bache and by those who were 
directly interested in the commerce of the Cape Fear River. 

About the year 1819 the State authorized Mr. Peter 
Brown, an eminent lawyer residing at Raleigh, then intend- 
ing to visit Great Britain, to employ an engineer for the pur- 
pose of improving our rivers and water transportation; and 
Mr. Brov^m engaged Hamilton Fulton, at a salary of $5,000. 

The work of putting in the jetties below Wilmington seems 
to have been under Mr. Fulton's direction ; but it is said that 
the engineer in charge was Mr. Hinton James, who had been 
the first student to enter the State University. Afterwards 
Mr. James, it is said, was mayor of Wilmington; and he 
lived to a green old age in the town. , Mr. Hamilton's work 
may have been founded on correct principles, but his plans, 


not only for the Cape Fear River, "but for other improve- 
ments, were beyond tlie financial resources of the State, and 
after some years they were abandoned. 

After the hiatus, from 1839 to 1847, the work went on 
steadily by the General Government, and it is notable that in 
1853 some of the citizens of Wilmington, enterprising men 
that they were, subscribed $60,000 (a large sum in those 
days for a small community) in furtherance of the continued 
improvement of the river and bar under the direction of an 
officer of the U. S. Corps of Engineers. This was officially 
approved June 9, 1853, by Jefferson Davis, Secretary of 

The following table illustrates the business of Wilmington 
from December 1, 1851, to December 1, 1852, — one year: 

Coastwise Exports feom Wilmington, from December 1, 1851, to 
December 1, 1852 — One Year: 

Sawed timber, 17,135,889 feet $272,585.77 

Pitch-pine timber, 1,025,202 feet 12,815.01 

Spirits turpentine, 96,277 bbls 1,707,999.75 

Rosin, 320,219 bbls 560,383.26 

Tar, 17,522 bbls 35,044.00 

Pitch, 6,660 bbls 9,157.00 

Turpentine, raw, 63,071 bbls 220,748.50 

Cotton, 12,988 bales 454,580.00 

Rice, clean, 2,300 casks 37,375.00 

Rice, rough, 64,842 bushels 58,357.80 

Peanuts, 93,255 bushels 93,255.00 

Corn, Indian, 5,663 bushels 3,009.64 

Staves, 27,000 105.00 

Cotton yarn, 2,434 bales 97,360.00 

Sheetings, 1,702 bales 102,120.00 

Flax seed, 165 casks ) 

Do. 1.253bags | 6'<^52.25 

Sundries 320,613.86 

Coastwise total $3,991,561.83 

Foreign exports 549,107.74 

Total coastwise and foreign $4,540,669.57 

A Few of the Principal Foreign Exports are Subjoined: 

Lumber, feet 15,201.000 

Timber, feet 2,383,814 

Turpentine, barrels 33,596 


The following remarkable official statements were made by 
the U. S. Engineers in 1853 : 

"The Cape Fear Eiver is the natural and actual outlet of 
the products of 28 or more counties in North Carolina and of 
several counties in South Carolina. In one item of future 
exports other Southern States are interested and the whole 
country must be so in time of war. Coal in large quan- 
tities and of an excellent quality has been found upon 
the waters of the Cape Fear, about 120 miles from its mouth, 
and at no distant day, it is supposed, will become a regular 
article of export. We may, therefore, have — what must be 
regarded as a national benefit at all times, and in time of war 
as of very gTeat importance — a depot of coal upon the Cape 
Fear, independent of supply from the K'orth, and beyond the 
reach of the enemy. But this depot will, in great measure, 
be lost to the country unless the Cape Fear shall be improved 
so as to admit our ships of war." 

Steamboat Line to Charleston. 

The progress of the River Improvement by the Federal 
Government during a period of ten years, from 1829 to 1839, 
was very slow and it resulted in a gain of only two feet depth 
below Wilmington, but after eight years more, in 1847, it 
was pushed forward with gTeater diligence and success from 
Wilmington to the sea, resulting in a safer channel of 
thirteen feet at high water and nine feet at low water. Mean- 
time, there was much enterprise shown by the merchants of 
Wilmington in shipbuilding, in a large and increasing tur- 
pentine and lumber trade, in the establishment of packet 
lines to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Xew York, and in a 
daily mail steamboat line to Charleston, consisting of the 
steamers Yanderbilt, North Carolina, Gladiator and Dudley. 

Congressional Aid to River Improvement. 

It was not until 1826 that Congress began to make appro- 
priations for river and harbor improvements, and three years 
later the Cape Fear River was included in the list. For 


ten years an annual appropriation of $20,000 was regularly 
made, and then because of a change in public policy such ap- 
propriations ceased. The Democratic party was opposed to 
internal improvements at the expense of the government. 
From 1838 to 1866 only a few river and harbor bills were 
passed. Mr. William S. Ashe, the representative from the 
Cape Fear District in 1854, differed with his party on the 
subject of internal improvements and succeeded in getting 
through a bill carrying $140,000 for the Cape Fear River, 
the particular object being to close jSTew Inlet, forcing all the 
water of the stream over the main bar. In order to accom- 
plish his purpose he had to persuade many of his Democratic 
associates to withdraw from the chamber, and so many with- 
drew that, although his bill received a large aiBrmative vote, 
there was no quorum, and he had to call in others to make a 
quorum. On the final vote the bill passed, but there were still 
more than eighty Democrats absent. That was the begin- 
ning of the effort to close I^ew Inlet, which was nearly ac- 
complished when the war stopped operations, but when block- 
ade running began, every one rejoiced that the inlet was still 

In after years Senator Ransom exerted himself with suc- 
cess for the improvement of the river, but the great improve- 
ment has been accomplished under the influence of Senator 
Simmons, who is at present the Acting Chairman of the 
Committee on Commerce, having such matters in charge. 
He has secured a 26-foot channel, increasing immensely 
the commercial facilities of Wilmington, which her business 
men have quickly developed. Mr, Simmons has likewise 
secured the adoption of a project to canalize the river from 
Wilmington to Fayetteville, and has been a strenuous advo- 
cate of the Coastal Canal, now about to be constructed. 

Mr. Simmons has long appreciated the value of Inland 
Waterways and was a member of the Commission on Water- 
ways sent to Europe by Congress a few years ago. In 1909 
he was a prime f acto.r in securing the adoption of the propo- 
sition to have a survey made for an intercoastal waterjvay 


from Boston to the Eio Grande. In 1912 he secured the 
adoption of the ISTorfolk and Beaufort section of that great 
undertaking and the purchase bj the Government of the Albe- 
marle and Chesapeake Canal. He also secured the deepen- 
ing of that waterway to twelve feet. 

The River and Harbor bill now pending carries a provision 
for a survey to increase the depth of water from Wilmington 
to thirty-five feet. 


In March, 1833, the Commissioners of the City of Fay- 
etteville were instructed to negotiate a loan of $200,000 to 
be invested in the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad, 
which, with individual subscriptions, would be more than 
enough for the organization of the company, and work could 
be begun in the spring of 1834. 

On May 1, 1833, the Peoples Press advertised that the 
subscribers to the stock of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley 
Railroad would be refunded the amount of money paid by 
them on their shares, after deducting 12% for disbursements, 
by applying to Dr. Wm. P. Hort. It was further stated 
that the project was abandoned because of lack of support by 
the iuliabitants of the western section, who would not contrib- 
ute one cent to the enterprise of establishing a railroad from 
the seaboard to the mountains. 

The Fiest Declaeation of State Policy. 

On July 4, 1833, the Internal Improvement Convention 
assembled in Raleigh with one hundred and twenty dele- 
gates, representing twenty-one counties in the eastern and 
northern sections. It seems to have been the first concerted 
effort towards organized action looking to the establishment 
of a railroad. Governor Swain presided and Gen. Samuel 
F. Patterson and Mr. Charles Manly were appointed secre- 
taries. The personnel of the convention must have been 


remarkable, as the record says, "So many distinguished and 
talented men are said never before to have assembled in the 

In this convention Governor Graham, then in the prime of 
his rare pov^ers, urged as the internal improvement policy of 
the State, three north and south lines of railroads. He was 
antagonized by Joseph Alston Hill, of Wilmington, one of 
the most gifted orators of that period, who advocated east 
and west lines, marketing the products of the State through 
North Carolina ports. It was a battle of giants, and Hill 
won the victory. 

The convention adopted resolutions to the effect that the 
General Assembly ought to raise by loan such sums as will 
"afford substantial assistance in the prosecution of the public 
works ; that no work should be encouraged for conveying 
produce to a primary market out of the State; that the Legis- 
lature be asked to take two-fifths of the stock of companies; 
that a Corresponding Committee of twenty be appointed in 
each county, and that a second convention be held on the 
fourth Monday in November." 

The delegates from Wake, Johnston, Lenoir, Wayne, Samp- 
son, Craven, and New Hanover resolved that "means be de- 
vised for carrying into effect the scheme of a railroad from 
Ealeigh to Waynesborough (Goldsboro), and thence to Wil- 

The committee for the town of Wilmington was composed 
of Edward B. Dudley, William B. Meares, William P. 
Hort, Joseph A. Hill, and Alexander MacEae. Circulars 
were issued to the citizens of Wake, Johnston, Wayne, Samp- 
son, Duplin, New Hanover, and Brunswick to ascertain 
what amount of aid they would contribute, and stating that 
$113,000 had been subscribed by the citizens of Wilmington, 
and that a total of $150,000 would be raised. 

In July, 1833, the citizens of Wilmington formulated a 
proposition to make application to the Legislature to incor- 
porate the town of Wilmington, the object being to raise 



funds on which immediate action could be taken in the con- 
struction of railroads; but in January, 1834, the bill 'To in- 
corporate the Citv of Wilmington and extend the limits 
thereof" was rejected. 

The Origin of the Eailroad Project. 

Communication from Wilmington to the North was by 
means of an occasional j)acket ship and the two lines of 
stages, one by way of New Bern and the other through Fay- 
etteville and Raleigh. 

The commerce of the town had but slowly increased and 
the future prospect was gloomy. A railroad or two, very 
short lines, had been constructed elsewhere, and this new 
method of travel was being talked about; but as yet it had 
not been proven a success.^ Such was the situation when 
Mr. P. K. Dickinson, a young Northern man who had 
located in the tovm, went one summer to New England and 
saw there a little railroad in operation. It had only wooden 
stringers, with narrow, thin, flat iron on top, and the car- 
riages were of light construction. Mr. Dickinson was greatly 
impressed with its capabilities. Convinced of its success he 
became enthusiastic, and hurried back to Wilmington with 
the news that he had found what was needed to assure the 
future welfare of the town — the railroad. He was so en- 
thusiastic, so insistent and persistent, that his idea took 
shape, and the people determined to have a railroad. With 
Wilmington to resolve is to act, and the Wilmington and 
Raleigh Road was chartered; but Raleigh would not sub- 
scribe, while the Edgecombe people would, so, although the 
line from Wilmington to Goshen pointed to Raleigh, the con- 
struction was northward to Weldon. Mr. Dickinson was 
one of the chief promoters and remained through life the 
leading director. He was one of the most useful, most 
esteemed and valued citizens of the tovm, and his large lum- 
ber plant, located north of the railroad terminal, was one of 
the great industries of Wilmington. 

iThe first American built locomotive was put on the South Caro- 
lina Railroad, November 2, 1830. The first roads were operated by 
horse power. 



In January, 1834, the bill to incorporate the Wilmington 
and Raleigh Railroad became a law, but the terms of the 
charter were so restricted that an amended charter was ob- 
tained in December, 1835, conferring larger privileges and 
changing the course of the proposed road. At the time of 
granting the first charter it was the intention to construct a 
railroad merely to connect the principal seaport with the 
"seat of the government," but as the project was more 
thoroughly considered, the advantages of building to some 
point on the Roanoke to connect with the Virginia lines, 
thereby completing one of the important links in the line of 
iron rail that was to extend from Maine to Florida, was 
realized, and in the amended charter the new corporation was 
given the privilege of changing its destination. 

The first meeting of the stockholders was held on March 
14, 1836, in the courthouse in this city, and organized by 
electing Gov. E. B. Dudley President (at a salary of 
$2,000), and the following directors: Andrew Joyner, W. D. 
Moseley, James S. Battle, Aaron Lazarus, Alex. Anderson, 
Wm. B. Meares, James Owen, P. K. Dickinson R. IL Cowan, 
and Thos. H. Wright. Gen. Alex. MacRae was elected 
Superintendent, and James S. Green Secretary and Treas- 
urer. After passing several resolutions and agreeing to start 
the building of the road at both Halifax and Wilmington at 
the same time, the meeting adjourned to meet again on the 
first Monday in November and thereafter annually on the 
first Monday in May. 

The building of the road was commenced in October, 1836, 
although little was done until January, 1837, and on March 
Y, 1840, the last spike was driven. Its actual length was 
161 1-2 miles and at the time of its completion it had the fol- 
lowing equipment: 12 locomotives, which were named, 
Nash, Wayne (built by R. Stephenson & Co., Newcastle- 
on-Tyne, England) New Hanover, Edgecombe, Brunswick, 
Duplin, and Bladen (built by Wm. Norris, Philadelphia, 


Pa.), Greene, Halifax, and Sampson (built by Burr & Samp- 
eon, Eichmond, Va.). 

There were also in use eight 8-wlieel passenger coaches, 
4 post office cars, 50 freight cars, and 4 steamers, viz. : the 
North Carolina, Wilmington, Governor Dudley, and C. Van- 

The entire road was constructed under the following super- 
vision : Chief Engineer, Walter Gwyn ; Superintendent, Alex- 
ander MacRae; Principal Assistant Engineer of Southern 
Division, Matthew T. Goldsborough, and Principal Assistant 
Engineer of the Northern Division, Francis N. Barbarin. 
The road was first laid with plate iron 2 inches by 5-8 inches 
on wooden stringers. 

On April 5, 1840, the celebration of the completion of the 
railroad was held in Wilmington. The report says, A 
large number of gentlemen assembled in the town from 
various parts of the State and from Virginia and South 
Carolina, at an early hour in the morning. The bells gave 
out sonorous peals and the shipping in the harbor came up, 
their flags waving. Cannon were fired every fifteen minutes 
throughout the day, with a national salute at meridian. At 
2 p. m. a procession, composed of invited guests and citizens, 
including the President, Directors, and officers of other 
roads, the Board of Internal Improvement, the Literary 
Board, the President, Directors, Engineers, Agents and 
others in the employ of the Wilmington and Raleigh Rail- 
road, was formed on Front Street, under the direction of 
Gen. Alex. MacRae, marshal of the day, assisted by Maj. 
R. F. Brown, and marched thence to the dinner table, 
escorted by the Wilmington Volunteers with their fine band 
of music. 

The dinner was set out at the depot under sheds tempo- 
rarily prepared for the purpose. About five hundred and 
fifty were at the tables, which were amply prepared for 
hungry men. 

Gen. James Owen, the President of the Company, pre- 
sided, assisted by the Directors, acting as Vice Presidents. 


Good feeling ruled the hour and good cheer gave quick winga 
to the nurslings of wit. 

Then followed a number of toasts — jSity-seven toasts and 
eleven letters with toasts. 

'Nov. 8, 1841. — Annual meeting of the stockholders of the 
Wilmington and Ealeigh Eailroad Co. Gen. James Owen 
declined further service as President. Ex-Gov. Edward B. 
Dudley was elected in his stead and the following gentlemen 
as directors: P. K. Dickinson, Alex. Anderson, Thos. H. 
Wright, Eobt. H. Cowan, of Wilmington, Samuel Potter, of 
Smithville, and B. F. Moore, of Halifax. 

Nov. 1842. — Annual meeting of the stockholders of the 
Wilmington and Ealeigh Eailroad Co. Edward B. Dudley 
was reelected President. Directors: Alex. Anderson, P. K. 
Dickinson, Samuel Potter, Jas. S. Battle, A. J. DeEosset, 
and Jas. L. Miller. 

Nov. 12, 184Y. — The annual meeting of the stockholders of 
the Wilmington and Ealeigh Eailroad was held here. Gen. 
Alexander MacEae was elected President and E. B. Dudley, 
P. K Dickinson, Gilbert Potter, Jas. L. Miller, O. G. Pars- 
ley, and Wm. A. Wright, Directors. (The same as last year 
except Wm. A. Wright in the place of Dr. John Hill, de- 

At this meeting it was resolved that, "The stockholders 
of the Wilmington and Ealeigh Eailroad Co., in general 
meeting assembled, da hereby pledge to the Wilmington and 
Manchester Eailroad Co., a subscription of $100,000 to be 
paid on the completion of the said Manchester Eailroad from 
the proceeds of the sale of steamboat and other property, 
which will at that time become unnecessary for the purpose 
of this Company: Provided that our Legislature take such 
action as may authorize said subscription." 

!N'ov. 10, 1848. — Annual meeting of the stockholders of 
the Wilmington and Ealeigh Eailroad Co. Ko change made 
in the President or Board of Directors, except four directors 
on the part of the State were to be appointed by the Internal 
Improvement Board. 


In December, 1848, a bill was introduced in the Legisla- 
ture authorizing the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad Com- 
pany to mortgage the road and its appurtenances for about 
$600,000 for the purpose of purchasing iron to relay its 
tracks, and in January, 1849, $020,000 was authorized and 
an extension of ten years granted for the repayment to the 
State of $300,000 for money borrowed. Dr. A. J. DeRosset 
was sent to England, where he purchased 8,000 tons of iron to 
be paid for by the present bonds of the company secured by 
mortgage on the road. 

The rail commenced to arrive in October, 1849, and in 
January, 1850, Congress passed an Act for the relief of 
the "Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad, providing for the pay- 
ing of import duties on the rail by deducting annually the 
amounts due from the Post Office Department for carrying 
the mails. It was then the T-rail was introduced, which su- 
perseded the flat iron. 

In August, 1850, Dr. John D. Bellamy, of Wilmington, 
was elected to succeed Col. Jas. L. Miller as a director, and 
in November of the same year at the regular meeting of the 
Board of Directors Gen. Alexander MacRae and the entire 
Board of Directors were reelected. A surplus of $45,000 
was directed to be applied to the extinguishment of the debts 
of the company. 

It was about this time that the Wilmington and Manches- 
ter Railroad was completed, giving a through rail connection 
to the South, and thus making still more important the Wil- 
mington and Weldon Railroad, as the Wilmington and Ra- 
leigh Railroad came to be called, its name being changed by 
the Legislature in 1855. 

It is interesting to note, with reference to the far-seeing 
qualities of the men of 1835 and 1836, that a few years ago 
the Chairman of the Board discovered a letter written in the 
fine spencerian hand of Governor Dudley, the first President, 
outlining the policy for the Wilmington and Raleigh Rail- 
road, in view of his resignation in order to enter Congress. 
The extraordinary character of this proposed policy revealed 


the fact that the Coast Line policy under its new administra- 
tion has been following precisely the line of action indicated 
by Governor Dudley at the beginning of its existence. 

The Longest Eaileoad in the World. 

Probably the most momentous, the most dramatic incident 
in the commercial history of Wilmington occurred in the 
fall of 1835 in the south wing of Gov. Edward B. Dud- 
ley's residence at the southwest corner of Front and 
Nunn Streets, where a number of prominent Wilmington 
citizens had assembled to subscribe their respective names to 
the stock of an extraordinary adventure — the building of a 
railroad from Wilmington to Ealeigh, to be called the Wil- 
mington and Raleigh Railroad. 

The town contained at that time, a population of about 
three thousand souls, a majority of whom were negro slaves, 
and here an assembly of about twenty courageous men of the 
little corporation actually subscribed a larger sum than the 
entire taxables of Wilmington amounted to in that year to 
build the longest railroad in the whole world. 

It is well to remember, in our boasted age of progress, the 
splendid example of the fathers of 1835, whose foresight and 
self-sacrifice laid the foundations of our success. Perhaps 
the largest subscription was that of Governor Dudley, $25,- 
000, when it was said that only one townsman, a prominent, 
enterprising, and most estimable gentleman, could write his 
cheque upon a Wilmington bank for as much as a hundred 
thousand dollars. 

The town was ably and economically governed by a few 
men, born aristocrats, and thoroughly equipped by a liberal 
education and practical experience. An exaggerated type of 
class intolerance in the official life of the tovvm was that of 
Anthony Milan, Esquire, a pompous English gentleman, who, 
in his immaculate linen, spotless broadcloth, silk hat, gold fob, 
and eyeglass, was one of the features of the community, and 
the delightful derision of the small boy. 


At a corner of Market and Front Streets, Mr. Milan was 
discussing with an important functionary a question of 
public affairs in the presence of the newly elected constable — 
the only policeman — who incautiously interjected the remark 
that in his opinion, etc. — Mr. Milan stared at him with 
unmitigated contempt — "And pray, sir," said he, "what right 
have you to an opinion ?" (tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur 
in illis). 

During the years that followed, the most important topic 
of local life was the railroad, which so overtaxed the means 
of its promoters that even with the added endorsement of 
the directors its official order for a hundred dozen shovels 
was rejected. 

The late Robert B. "Wood, one of the railroad contractors 
of 1836 and later, informed me many years ago, that this 
incident led to a proposal by the railroad directors and con- 
tractors that Mr. John Dawson, then a prosperous dry goods 
merchant on Market Street and a stockholder in the railroad, 
should add to his business a hardware department, compris- 
ing tools and implements needed for railroad work, assuring 
him of their undivided patronage. This was agreed to and 
the well known extensive hardware business of John Dawson, 
which led that trade until Mr. Dawson died, had its origin 
and advancement in that way. 

Mr. "Wood also informed me that the method of advertis- 
ing the meetings of stockholders and directors, which were 
often held, was unique. He owned a docile gray mare which 
was frequently borrowed by the officials on urgent business 
and also used to make known the meetings by a large placard 
hung on either side of the saddle in which a negTo slave rode 
constantly ringing a large brass hand bell, and paraded the 
principal streets, proclaiming "Railroad meeting tonight." 

Some of the newspaper illustrations of the "cars" as the 
train was termed in its early days, show a vehicle closely 
resembling the old stagecoach, with a greater number of 
passengers on top than are shown inside. 


Timid apprehensions of danger were allayed by the official 
assurance upon the time-table, that under no circumstances 
will the cars be run after dark. 

Development of the Railroad. 

When President Dudley was elected Governor of the State, 
he was succeeded by Gen. Alexander MacKae. 

In those early days there were numerous difficulties in 
operation, but General MacEae proved himself to be a most 
capable and efficient manager. The Board of Directors was 
composed of some of the most competent business men of 
Wilmington — men unsurpassed for capability, energy, and 
integrity. They placed the bonds of the road in London on 
advantageous terms, and the construction was cheap and 
without unnecessary expenditure. 

In 1854 William S. Ashe became President. General 
conditions were now changing. The South was emerging 
from infantile weakness, and industries were developing and 

On the completion of the ]N"orth Carolina Eailroad, Colonel 
Fisher and Mr. Ashe arranged for western products to come 
to Wilmington through Goldsboro, and a line of steamers 
was put on from Wilmington to New York, carrying North 
Carolina's products to the markets of the world from a 
North Carolina port — the consummation of Mr. Ashe's pur- 
pose when he drew the charter of the North Carolina Rail- 

But passenger traffic was of equal importance to the road, 
and Mr. Ashe sought to build up a great through passenger 
business. He sought to eliminate as far as practicable all 
breaks at terminals, and to relieve travel of its inconvenience 
and tedium, and in conjunction with Senator David L. Yulee, 
the President of the Florida Railroad, he developed Florida 
travel until it reached large proportions and became a highly 
remunerative business. 


Recognized throughout the South as a dominant influence 
in railroad matters and a most successful manager, in 1861, 
at the request of President Davis, he took supervision of all 
Confederate transportation east of the Mississippi River, 
but he still remained President of the Wilmington and 
Weldon Railroad until his death in September, 1862. 


The Boston Courier of July 23, 1830, says: ''One hundred 
and fifty-one more vessels have entered the port of Wilming- 
ton this year than last, including in the number 1 ship, 2 
barks, 181 brigs, the rest (410) schooners. These tar-and- 
shingle skippers, which carry large topsails, everywhere be- 
sprinkle our coast. Now Wilmington is the gTand railroad 
and steamboat thoroughfare. She is taking the position that 
belongs to her and recalling the proud days of her prosperity 
before the American Revolution." 

The Richmond (Va.) Compiler says: "One hundred and 
fifty-one more vessels have entered the Port of Wilmington 
this year than last. This shows great advance in trade. We 
have been surprised to hear that the tonnage of Wilmington 
exceeds that of Richmond, although the town has not one- 
fourth of our population. It must be a place of great enter- 
prise if we judge from what has been done within the last few 
years. We feel admiration for such a people and take plea- 
sure in expressing it." 

Wilmington's Public Spirit. 

(The Fayetteville Observer of January, 1850.) 

The public spirit of the citizens of our sister to^^Ti is really 
amazing: it seems to have no limit when any scheme is 
presented which is regarded as essential to the prosperity or 
honor of the place. And the resources of the community 
seem to be as abundant as the spirit with which they are em- 
ployed is liberal. 

Some twelve or fourteen years ago, when the population 


was but three or four thousand, she undertook to make a 
railroad 161 miles long (the longest in the world), and a 
steamboat line of equal length. For this purpose she sub- 
scribed more than half a million dollars, we believe. 

This accomplished with almost the total loss of the half 
million, so far as the stock was concerned, however profitable 
in other respects, one might have expected a pause at least, 
if not a total cessation in the march of improvements, and 
so it would have been with almost any other people. But 
soon the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad was projected, 
and Wilming-ton subscribed $180,000 to it. Then came 
the Deep Eiver and Navigation Company, and she gave 
$30,000 to $40,000, we believe, to that. Next the Central 
Eailroad, and she subscribed about $50,000, and finally, it 
being found necessary to raise an additional sum for the 
Manchester Road, she held a meeting on the 5th inst., at 
which $50,000 more, making $230,000 in all, was subscribed 
to that work. (This was increased to $100,000 by the 10th, 
making $280,000.) 

Thus this community, even now not containing more than 
eight or nine thousand inhabitants, of whom probably not 
more than two-thirds are white, has contributed to public 
works eight or nine hundred thousand dollars — nearly as 
much as is required from the State to secure the Central 

With all this prodigious expenditure, who hears of any 
pressure or bankruptcy — any interruption of her onward 
course of prosperity ! Truly — "There is that scattereth and 
yet increaseth." 

It is not for the purpose of honoring Wilmington merely 
that we make this statement, but it is to encourage the 
friends of internal improvement throughout the State, and, 
if possible, to remove the objections of those who doubt the 
policy or profitableness of the system. 



In the fifties there were frequently as many as ninety 
vessels in the port of Wilmington loading or unloading, or 
waiting for berths at anchor in the stream. The wharves 
were lined two vessels deep, and those waiting for orders 
were moored nearly as far down the river as the Dram 
Tree. It was a season of great activity. 

A large business in corn in bulk was also carried on with 
Hyde County, and for this trade a fleet of small schooners 
called Corn Crackers was employed. It was most exhilarat- 
ing on a fine day to see this tiny fleet, twenty to thirty white 
wings, rounding the Dram Tree led by the We're here, I'm 
coming, and So am I, with every stitch of canvas spread 
to the favoring breeze on the last stretch to the Customhouse 

Direct importations of coffee from Rio de Janeiro, of 
sugar and molasses from Cuba, Jamaica, and Demarara, of 
hoopiron and cotton ties from England, of salt from Turks 
Island and Liverpool employed many square-rigged foreign 
vessels ; and three times as many beautifully lined American 
schooners added miscellaneous cargoes from the North to the 
overladen wharves of Wilmington. 

The class of merchants and professional men of those days 
was highly respectable and respected ; nearly all were men of 
education and refinement, and they were always keenly in- 
terested in public affairs. I note from memory some of the 
more important business men and firms of importers, com- 
mission merchants, and shipbrokers, physicians, bankers, and 
lawyers, who were established between Orange Street and 
Red Cross Street on the river front along Water Street and 
ISTutt Street and uptown : 

T. C. & B. G. Worth James H. Chadboum & Co. 

N. G. Daniel Kidder & Martin 

Pierce & Dudley Joseph H. Neff 

C. W. Styron Rankin & Martin 

James D. Gumming Anderson & Savage 



W. B. McKoy & Co. 

Houston & West 

J. R. Blossom & Co. 

A. H. VanBokkelen 

J. E. Lippitt 

H. B. Eilers 

J. L. Hathaway & Utley 

A. W. Coville 
DeRosset & Brown 
Murray & Murchison 
James T. Petteway & Co. 
Ellis & Mitchell 

Hall & Armstrong 
W. H. McRary & Co. 
M. Mclnnis 
Avon E. Hall 
Harris & Howell 
J. & D. MacRae & Co. 

B. G. & W. J. Monroe 
Clark & Turlington 
Henry Nutt 

C. H. Robinson & Co. 
A- D. Cazaux 
Alexander Oldham 
Smith & McLaurin 
O. G. Parsley & Co. 
Joseph H. Flanner 
W. B. Planner 
James I. Metts 

G. O. VanAmringe 

H. P. Russell & Co. 

P. K. Dickinson 

Thomas D. Walker, President 
Wilmington & Manchester 

William S. Ashe, President Wil- 
mington & Weldon Railroad. 

John Dawson 

P. W. Fanning 

John S. James 

W. C. Bettencourt 

Zebulon Latimer 

Adam Empie 

Thomas C. Miller, collector 

Thomas H. Wright, banker 

Joshua G. Wright 

O. P. Meares 

W. B. Meares 

George Davis 

W. A. Wright 

Robert Strange 

Duncan K. MacRae 

Samuel J. Person 

DuBrutz Cutlar 

Griffith J. McRee 

Alexander Anderson 

Dr. E. A. Anderson 

Stephen Jewett 

Timothy Savage 

H. R. Savage 

L. A. Hart 

George Myers 

Charles D. Myers 

J. S. Robinson 

Hedrick & Ryan 

J. S. Williams 

James Dawson 

Richard J. Jones 

Dr. J. Fergus McRee 

Dr. J. P. McRee, Jr. 

Dr. James H. Dickson 

Dr. F. J. Cutlar 

Dr. William J. Harriss 

Dr. John D. Bellamy 

Dr. William George Thomas 

Dr. F. J. Hill 

Dr. John Hill 

Dr. W. A. Berry 

Dr. J. C. Walker 

Dr. Thomas F. Wood 

Dr. F. W. Potter 

Dr. John Hampden Hill 

Louis Erambert 

Col. James G. Burr 

Alfred Alderman 

James S. Alderman 

Edward B. Dudley 

James Owen 

Alexander McRae 

Asa A. Brown 

E. P. Hall 

Joseph H. Watters 



Gilbert Potter 

James S. Green 

Wm. A. Williams 

John Cowan 

John Wooster 

A. M. Waddell 

Wm. C. Lord 

R. W. Brown 

Geo. W. Davis 

J. W. K. Dix 

John C. Latta 

Isaac Northrop 

Zeno H. Green 

Jacob Lyon 

James Wilson 

S. P. Watters 

Walker Meares 

Talcott Burr, jr. 

James T. Miller 

Alexander Sprunt 

Rt. Rev. Bishop Atkinson 

Cyrus S. VanAmringe 

H. R. Savage 

Daniel B. Baker 

N. N. Nixon 

Daniel L. Russell 

R. H. Cowan 

John A. Taylor 

Rev. Dr. R. B. Drane 

Dougald McMillan 

Samuel Davis 

W. S. Anderson 

R. S. French 

Eli W. Hall 

Wm. McRae 

W. L. Smith 

Thomas L, Colville 

John C. Bailey 

James M. Stevenson 

James Dawson 

Robert B. Wood 

Geo. R. French 

Rev. Father Murphy 
Rev. John L. Pritchard 
S. D. Wallace 
A. L. Price 
R. R. Bridgers 
John L. Holmes 
M. London 
John C. Heyer 

E. A. Keith 

F. J. Lord 
T. D. Love 
Rev. M. B. Grler 

Rev. C. F. Deems, D.D. 
Jos. Price 

G. H. Kelly 
Henry Planner 
W. P. Elliott 
M. M. Kattz 

L. B. Huggins 
Wm. G. Fowler 
L. Vollers 
Edward Savage 
A. H. Cutts 
G. A. Peck 
Hugh Waddell 
James A. Willard 
W. H. Lippitt 
Junius D. Gardner 
John Judge 
James Fulton 
Thomas Loring 
William B. Giles 
Richard A. Bradley 
Wm. N. Peden 
Gaston Meares 
Joseph S. Murphy 
William Reston 
John Reston 
John Colville 
William Watters 
A. A. Willard 

And last, but not least, mine host, Jack Bishop, who kept 
the Pilot House on the wharf and furnished the best table 
fare in Wilmington to a large number of merchants, master 
mariners, and pilots, at very moderate prices — ^he whose 


breadth of beam and suggestive sign combined to make him 
known as "Paunchous Pilot" — and his genial neighbor at the 
foot of Dock Street, Jimmie Baxter, who always wore a bat- 
tered beaver hat, regardless of corresponding conventionalities 
of dress, and with his brother Barney supplied the ships with 
pantry stores. 

Some of us still remember Jimmie Baxter's kindly salu- 
tation with its warning for the day : "An if ye meet the Divil 
in the way, don't shtop to shake hands wid him." 


I am informed by State Geologist, Joseph Hyde Pratt, 
that coal was found in two sections of our State, one in Chat- 
ham and in Moore Counties, the other in Stokes County. 

Mining was done on the deposits of Chatham and Moore 
Counties, and for many years a small amount of coal was 
gotten out, but the industry was not profitable because the 
coal basin is not extensive. The seams are thin; and the 
few wider ones are cut up with slate, and so mixed with 
sulphur that the quality was always bad. 

The use of this l^orth Carolina coal during the War be- 
tween the States led to the capture of several fine blockade- 
running steamers whose supply of Welsh coal had been seized 
by the Confederate officials and "Egypt" coal substituted. 
This was so worthless that it was impossible to raise and keep 
steam, and consequently these unfortunate and valuable ships 
fell an easy prey to the Federal cruisers. 

With reference to my further inquiries on this subject, 
Dr. Joseph Austin Holmes, Director of the Bureau of Mines 
at Washington, says: "Coal was opened up between 1855 
and 1858, in Chatham County at a place called Egypt, under 
the advice of Dr. Ebenezer Emmons, then State Geologist. 
The coal was at that time regarded as of considerable promise. 

"During the year 1858 an examination was made of the 
Deep River region, one of the principal tributaries of the 
Cape Fear, by Captain Wilkes and other officers of the United 


States Navj, in compliance with a Senate resolution 
adopted on April 13, 1858. As a result of this investiga- 
tion, and in a report published as an Executive document 
early in 1859, Captain Wilkes and his associates reported 
favorably on the proposition that the Deep River region was 
a suitable one for the establishment of foundries and other 
plants for the production of naval ordnance and supplies." 

Captain Wilkes made the following statement in regard to 
the coal: 

"It is a shining and clean coal, resembling the best speci- 
mens of Cumberland (Md.). It ignites easily, and burns 
with a bright, clear combustion, and leaves a very little pur- 
plish grey ash. It is a desirable coal for blacksmiths' use, 
for the parlor, and superior to most coals for the production 
of gas, for which it is likely to be in great demand. Its 
freedom from sulphur is another of its recommendations." 

These favorable preliminary reports by Captain Wilkes of 
the Navy Department, and Doctor Emmons, the State Geolo- 
gist of North Carolina, awakened considerable interest in the 
development of this coal. But it was found in subsequent 
operations that the coal, as mined, generally contained a 
considerable quantity of slate and other black earthy mate- 
rial, that its ash formed a slag on the grate bars, and that 
it contained no little sulphur. This composition made it a 
rather dijQBcult coal to use in ordinary furnaces. But dur- 
ing the war, it was extensively used to make coke for the 
iron works established in the Deep River region. It was 
also used as a steam coal, but its use on board blockade 
runners and other ships was found highly objectionable both 
on account of the poor quality of the coal and the smoke 
which resulted from its use. 

At intervals between 1870 and 1900 the shaft at the Egypt 
coal mine (about 465 feet deep) was again opened and the 
mine worked on a small local scale, the coal being shipped 
to Raleigh, Fayetteville, and other local markets; but it 
never became a good merchantable coal, and its use re- 
mained limited and local. 


Besides, the coal itself gave off in the mine considerable 
quantities of explosive gas, and there were several bad ex- 
plosions, one of which, in December, 1895, killed thirty-nine 
men, and another, in May, 1900, killed twenty-three men. 
The operating company was much discouraged by these disas- 
ters, and the mine was closed. 

There is probably a considerable quantity of coal still to 
be obtained in the vicinity of the old Egypt mine, and if the 
mine were worked with modern safety precautions, to pre- 
vent disastrous explosions, and the coal were washed so as to 
remove the dirt, it would be found to be a fairly satisfactory 
fuel. If briquetted (as is frequently done in European 
countries), it would be both suitable and available for do- 
mestic use in the adjacent markets. 

The formation in which this coal occurs extends from the 
South Carolina line northward to near Oxford in Granville 
County, its greatest width being from twelve to fifteen miles: 
At different points in this formation there are beds of sand- 
stone available for building purposes ; but the workable 
coal seems to be limited to a few thousand acres in that part 
of Chatham County near the old hamlet of Egypt, formerly 
known as the Gulf, but which during the past few years 
has been called Cumnock. 


In June, 1851, the topsail schooner Gallatin, of the United 
States Coast Survey, appeared off the main bar and sailed 
into the quiet harbor of Smithville, the base of operations. 

She was commanded by Lieutenant, Commanding, John 
E"ewland Maffitt, U. S. N. ; and the six lieutenants under 
him included several who rose to the rank of Commander, 
and one to the distinction of Admiral in the U. S. Ifavy. 
Three of them were subsequently distinguished in the annals 
of the Cape Fear. Maffitt, the daring commander of the 
Confederate States Corvette Florida; J. Pembroke Jones, 


commander of the C. S. Ram Raleigh, and subsequently 
commander of other vessels of war, and, finally, a promi- 
nent officer in the naval service of the Argentine Republic; 
and Lieut. Charles P. Bolles, a master in the art of triangu- 
lation and topography, whose name with that of Maffitt 
appears upon all the old charts of the Cape Fear. 

The eminent Superintendent of the Coast Survey at 
Washington, Professor Bache, in his official reports to Sec- 
retary Corwin, makes frequent reference to the valuable 
services of Lieut. Commanding Maffitt, who had charge of 
the hydrography in this section of the Atlantic coast. In 
one report he says : "Lieut. Commanding J. K. Maffitt, U. S. 
ISTavy, assistant in the Coast Survey, in command of the 
schooner Gallatin, has executed the soundings of the bar of 
the Cape Fear River, commencing at the most southern point 
of Cape Fear, extending at a distance of from two and a 
half to three and a half miles from shore to the northward 
and westward, including the main bar, middle ground, and 
western bar, the river up to 'New Inlet, that bar, and the 
Sheep's Head ledge." 

In the execution of this work 25,688 soundings were made, 
18,010 angles measured, and 389 miles of soundings run; specimens of bottoms were preserved, and fifteen 
observations of currents made. After this work was com- 
pleted, Lieutenant Commanding Maffitt proceeded to make a 
hydrographic reconnaissance of the New River bars, and of 
the river above the obstructions. In making this recon- 
naissance, 5,8Y0 soundings were made, 481 angles measured, 
and fifty miles of soundings run. 

With reference to the social life of these gentlemen, Mrs. 
Maffitt says: "When Lieutenant Maffitt visited Smithville 
its citizens were composed of the best people of the Cape Fear 
region. Its residences, generally deserted in the winter 
months, were filled during the summer and early fall with 
the elite of Wilmington society, then in its zenith of culture, 
refinement, and that open and profuse hospitality for which 
it has from early Colonial times been distinguished. The 


officers of the Coast Survey and their families were domi- 
ciled at the barracks in the Garrison grounds. 

"The residents opened their hearts and homes to them 
and vied with each other in rendering their stay a pleasant 

"Like most small communities having few interests ou1> 
side of themselves, there was at times a tendency to indulge 
in unpleasant gossip, and in order to quell this by giving a 
new source of interest, Lieutenant Maffitt proposed organiz- 
ing a dramatic company ; and, to insure the actors against un- 
kind criticism of amateurs, he made it a condition of entrance 
to the plays that all who desired to witness the performances 
should sign their names as members of the company before 
receiving their tickets. And this proved a perfect success." 

Dr. W. G. Curtis, says: "The old residents of Smith- 
ville, before the season was over, gave this troupe the credit 
of driving out the gossips or closing their lips. In a word, 
the whole society became a mutual admiration society. Har- 
mony prevailed everywhere. Sermons were preached every 
Sunday at the chapel and the services were well attended; 
but the members of the church often said that the good 
feeling of all the attendants, brought about by our troupe, 
put them in a better frame of mind to listen to the teachings 
from the pulpit." 

Of Captain Maffitt, of the Confederacy, much has been 
written. Of this intrepid commander, it was said by a dis- 
tinguished visitor in 1868 : "Amongst the many interesting 
men I met at Wilmington was the well known Captain Maf- 
fitt, whose adventurous career upon the high seas, as com- 
mander of the Florida^ excited so much attention at the 

"I found the Captain a cultivated and gentlemanly man, 
small-sized and spare in figure, but with a finely-cast head, a 
dark, keen eye, a strong tuft of black whiskers on his chin, 
and a firm little mouth that seemed to express the energy and 
determination of his character. I remember very well his 
dignified appearance as he stepped about in his short military 


cloak, with his keen and somewhat stem look. He was in 
reduced circumstances, having staked his whole fortune and 
position upon the Lost Cause; but, like so many of his old 
military and naval associates, he was trying his hand at busi- 
ness and striving to reconcile himself to the new order of 

In "The Life and Services" of this remarkable man of 
the Cape Fear, his gifted widow, Mrs. Emma Martin Maf- 
fitt, has contributed to our history a volume of intensely 
interesting and instructive literature. 

Well may we say of him, as it was said of the gallant !N'ey, 
"He was the bravest of the brave." 


The cordial social and business relations which have sub- 
sisted between Wilmington and Fayetteville for more than a 
century were never closer nor more profitable than in the 
fifty years preceding the War between the States. 

Known as Cross Creek and Campbellton up to 1784, its 
name was then changed to Fayetteville, in tribute to the 
services of the Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of both the 
French and American Revolutions, who subsequently visited 
Fayetteville in 1824. 

The people of Fayetteville, thrifty and enterprising as hos- 
pitable and cultured, were among the first in the State to 
establish cotton factories; and being at the head of water 
transportation and having an extensive system of plank 
roads into the interior, Fayetteville was the great mart of 
trade in North Carolina, especially for the extensive country 
lying west to the Blue Ridge and even for the transmontane 
country comprising parts of East Tennessee and Southwest 
Virginia. This trade was carried on by canvas-topped wag- 
ons as vehicles of transportation, drawn by two, four, and 
even six horses, but mules in those days were seldom em- 
ployed. Said Mr. J. H. Myrover, the historian of Fayette- 
ville : 


"The starting point of all this vast back country carrying 
trade was the wharves and Water Street in Wilmington, 
though m the early part of the last century wagoning was 
done by stages, or relays, between Fayetteville and Philadel- 
phia, before the first steamer was put on the Cape Fear. 
Among the pioneers of steamboat building and operating on 
tiie Cape Fear, though perhaps not the first, was Mr. 
Seawell. One of the first boats to ply the stream bore the 
same name as one of the last-the City of FayMeville. It 
was launched not far from the Clarendon Bridge, and it has 
been related that some one having prophesied that it would 
turn_ turtle when it reached the water, the architect boldly 
rode Its bow as it slipped off the ways, and the event justified 
his faith in his work. 

"It is impossible, with the lapse of time, to enumerate all 
the craft that formed the Cape Fear merchant marine, the 
Henrietta, Fanny Lutierloh, Cotton Plant. Zephyr Maq. 
nolm. Halcyon, Governor Worth, Norih State A P Hurt 
D. UurcUson, R. E. Lee, are recalled as leading among the 
passenger and freight steamers, from the thirties up to and 
for 3ome time after the Civil War. Equally impossible 
would It be to give the names and record of the services of 
tie faithful captains. 

"Notable commanders in the history of Cape Fear naviga- 
tion were Captains John P. Stedman, who lost his life by the 
^plosion of the boiler of the Fanny Lntterhh; Rush, A P 
Hurt (after whom a steamer was named) ; Phillips, Skinner,' 
Green, Worth, Smith, Garrason. The captain's rule on 
board was autocratic but patriarchal. He sat at the head of 
the able and served the passengers, as the father of a 
family would his children. The fare was plain, but whole- 
some and abundant, and, with good weather and a fair depth 
of water, the trip between Fayetteville and Wilmington was 
Tery pleasant. The river goes on its way to the sea with 
naany a wind and bend, its banks steep and heavily wooded, 
the wild grape climbing the tall trees, and the wild jasmine 
and flowering honeysuckle giving forth their fragrance. 


Those veteran captains knew the river well and most of the 
people on either bank clear to Wilmington ; the pilots, many 
of whom were negroes, knew every crook and eddy of the 
stream. Dan Buxton, an esteemed colored man of this 
city, has a record of fifty years faithful service as a pilot on 
the Cape Fear. The late Col. Thos. S. Lutterloh, always 
a large boat o,wner, is said to have been the first Cumberland 
man to become sole ov^mer of a steamer on the river. Many 
of the business men of Fayetteville and Wilmington were 
stockholders in these boat lines. 

"The oldest inhabitants still look back on those times as the 
'good old days' of Fayetteville. The merchants were not the 
progressive men of the 20th century ; they were conservative 
and cautious and honest as the day, with their word as bond. 
They made money slowly, but they lived simply, and gradu- 
ally accumulated modest fortunes." 

United States Minister E. J. Hale says: 

"From the close of the Revolution and up to the building 
of the Wilmington and Raleigh [Weldon] railroad and the 
Raleigh and Gaston Railroad (about 1838), the gTcat mail 
stage lines from the North to the South passed through Fay- 
etteville. There were four daily lines of four horse post 
and passenger coaches to Raleigh, Norfolk, Charleston and 
Columbia ; and, in addition, two tri-weekly lines to New Bern 
and Salisbury. 

"The Legislature sat in Fayetteville in 1788, 1789, 1790 
and 1793. At the Convention at Hillsborough in 1788, 
called to deliberate on the acceptance or rejection of the 
United States Constitution, Fayetteville failed to secure the 
location of the permanent capital by one vote, that of Timo- 
thy Bloodworth, of New Hanover, who subsequently was 
elected United States Senator. The ordinance adopted fixed 
the location of the capital on Joel Lane's plantation in Wake, 
on the ground that this point was nearer the centre of the 
State than Fayetteville." 

Notable Incidents 


"Wilmington/' said Iredell Meares, Esq., in an interesting 
pamphlet, "has been honored by the visits of five of the Presi- 
dents of the United States — Washington, Monroe, Polk, 
Fillmore, and Taft." 

General Washington^ in 1791, made a tour of the South- 
ern States. One of his biographers relates that "no royal 
progTess in any country ever equaled this tour in its demon- 
strations of veneration and respect." His visit to Wilming- 
ton was preserved in the traditions of the people for many 
years. The old folks used to tell of its incidents, and the 
ladies of "ye olden times" of an elaborate ball given in his 
honor. In the possession of Mr. Clayton Giles, of this city, 
is a letter in excellent state of preservation giving some ac- 
count of this interesting incident. It was written by Mrs- 
Jane Anna Simpson to her sister on the day of the reception, 
and is dated the "25th April, 1791." The letter, among 
other things, says : 

"Great doings this day. General Washington arrived yes- 
terday. The Light Horse went to meet him. The artillery 
were ready to receive him with a round from the batteries, 
four guns. This day he dines with the Gentlemen of the 
town; in the evening a grand ball and illumination; to-mor- 
row takes his leave. I believe the Light Horse are to escort 
him a day's journey on his way to Chas'ton. 

"Half-past four — just going to dinner — cannons firing; 
Chrissy and the children all gone to see the procession. I 
don't go to the ball this evening, as Mary can not accompany 
me. She desires me to ask if you have many beaux at the 
Marsh. Adieu. I must get the candles. 

"Mrs. Quince has given up her house to the General and 
she stays with our uncles." * * * 

The place at which the Light Horse met General Washing- 


ton was at the Kouse House, about fifteen miles out on the 
New Bern Koad. Here was fought during the Eevolutionary 
War, a small battle between the Patriots and the English 
forces under the command of Major Craig. It is described 
as a massacre by the historian Caruthers, for Craig gave no 
quarter and killed every one of the Patriots, who were over- 
whelmed by numbers, save one boy, who escaped. 

It is a tradition handed down by the old folks that upon 
the occasion of General Washington's visit to the residence of 
General Smith, at his plantation of Belvidere, which is situ- 
ated across the river in Brunswick County, he was met at the 
river landing by a group of thirteen young ladies, all dressed 
in white and representing the thirteen colonies, who pre- 
ceded him up the avenue of old trees leading from the river 
to the brick residence, bestrewing his path with flowers as 
he approached. 

The ball which was given to him by the people of Wil- 
mington was held in what was then known as the Assembly 
Hall, also called "Old '76," because of having been built in 
17Y6. In time it was used as a sailor boarding-house, and 
was subsequently taken down in 1876 to make way for the 
present building. It stood on Front Street, east side, be- 
tween Orange and Ann Streets, where now stands a two- 
story brick tenement honse. 

"Wilmington," wrote President Washington in his diary, 
"has some good houses, pretty compactly built — the whole 
under a hill, which is formed entirely of sand. The number 
of souls in it amount by enumeration to about 1,000. 

"Wilmington, unfortunately for it, has a mud bank — 
miles below, over which not more than ten feet of water can 
be brought at common tides. Yet it is said vessels of 250 
tons have come up. The quantity of shipping which load 
here annually amounts to about 12,000 tons. Exports are 
Naval stores and lumber; some tobacco, corn, rice, and flax 
seed and pork." 

"Monday 25th. Dined with the citizens of the place — 
went to a Ball in the evening at which there were 62 ladies — 
illuminations, bonfires &&." 


James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, 
visited Wilmington on the 12th day of April, 1819. 

In an old copy of the Raleigh Minerva, bearing date April 
23, 1819, we find a letter from Wilmington, giving an account 
of the visit of President Monroe and his suite. 

"The Presidential cortege was met about twelve miles from 
town, on the old ISTewbern Eoad, somewhere near Scott's Hill, 
and escorted into the City by the Wilmington Light Horse, 
a volunteer organization, under the command of Colonel 
Cowan. The entrance into the town was made on Market 
Street, the boundary then being on Pifth. They then pro- 
ceeded down Market to Front and up Front to the Wilming- 
ton Hotel, which stood on the site of the present Purcell 
House buildings, where the usual formalities of a grand re- 
ception were tendered to the President. 

"His Excellency was the guest, while here, of Robert 
Cochran, Esq., who resided on Second Street, between Chest- 
nut and Mulberry, and John C. Calhoun, the Secretary of 
War, and his lady, received the hospitalities of Dr. A. J. 
DeEosset, sr., at the brick house now standing on the corner 
of Market and Third Streets. It was on Thursday that the 
President arrived here, and on Friday, accompanied by 
Judge Murphey, he paid a visit to Wrightsville. On his re- 
turn, he partook of a dinner with the citizens at the Wilming- 
ton Hotel and the next day left this place on the steamer 
Prometheus for Fort Johnston, from whence he proceeded 
immediately to Georgetown, S. C." 

At the dinner given in his honor, Hanson Kelley, Esq., 
presided, assisted by Robert Cochran, Esq. The former was 
Magistrate of Police (now the ofiice of Mayor), and the 
latter was the Collector of Customs for the District of Cape 
Fear. There were a number of patriotic toasts drunk, the 
list being published in the papers of the day, and among 
those who responded were the President, Hon. John C. Cal- 
houn, J. R. London, Esq., Gen. James Owen, Judge Archi- 
bald Murphey, Col. Cleary, Robt. Cochran, Esq., John D. 
Jones, Esq., Gen. Thos. Davis, Wm. B. Meares, Esq. and 


Alfred Moore, Esq., all prominent citizens of tlie Cape Fear 
in that day and time. 

In a formal letter addressed to the President by Hanson 
Kelley, Esq., on behalf of the citizens, occurs this sentiment : 
"Events, the most propitious, have rendered your adminis- 
tration an epoch of national security and aggrandizement. 
The united voice of your country, from Maine to Mexico, 
proclaim the wisdom of councils honorable to you ; and, in 
their result, glorious to our extended empire." To this let- 
ter, the President responded, as follows : 

Sir: On the principle on which I have thought it proper to visit 
our Atlantic frontier, this town, with its relation to the ocean, had 
a just claim to attention. It was always my intention to visit it 
when I should be able to examine the Southern coast; and I am 
much gratified in having done it, as, in addition to the satisfaction 
of having performed an interesting part of my public duty, it has 
afforded me an opportunity of becoming acquainted with a portion 
of my fellow-citizens, whose kind reception and obliging attention 
I shall always recollect with great interest. To secure you in peace, 
and all the advantages in commerce which a kind Providence has 
enabled you to enjoy, and all the protection in war, to which your 
situation may expose you, are objects which will never fail to receive 
the unwearied attention of the General Government in all its 
branches, according to their respective powers. On my exertions, in 
those concerns which fall within the department which I have the 
honor to fill, you may confidently rely. In the late event to which 
you allude, I concur in all the favorable anticipations which you 
have suggested of its happy effects on the best interests of our 
country. In contemplating this epoch we must all derive peculiar 
satisfaction from the reflection that it was the result of an arrange- 
ment by which our differences were settled with a friendly power, 
and our peace secured against the prospect of early interruption, on 
conditions equally honorable to both parties. 

Should I be able by my future conduct in the public service to 
carry with me into retirement the same favorable opinion of my 
fellow-citizens which you have kindly expressed of the past, it will 
afford me the high consolation to which I have invariably aspired. 

James Moxboe. 

James K. Polk, the eleventh President of the United 
States, just after his retirement, visited Wilmington, upon 
invitation of its citizens. The files of the newspapers pub- 
lished here at the time, which will be found in the Public 
Library, contain reports of his reception. From the Com- 


mercial, issue of Thursday, March 8, 1849, we clip this men- 
tion of his visit: 

'The ex-President, Mr. Polk, and Lady and Niece, to 
gether with Mr. Secretary Walker and Niece, and Mr. Gra- 
hame. Solicitor of the Treasury, and Lady, reached our town 
at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. Their arrival was her- 
alded by the booming of cannon, the ringing of bells and the 
floating aloft of banners and streamers from stalls, house- 
tops, and mastheads. The Magistrate of Police, Col. James 
T. Miller, the Committee of Arrangements, and a large con- 
course of citizens were ready at the railroad to receive the 
ex-President and suite, and they were greeted by Colonel 
Miller in a brief and cordial address, to which the ex-Presi- 
dent warmly responded. The whole suite was then escorted, 
according to the program heretofore published, to Mrs. 
Swann's boarding-house, on the balcony of which, in view and 
hearing of the assembled crowd, Mr. Wm. Hill welcomed 
the ex-President and suite in a cordial, chaste, and eloquent 
address ; during which he alluded to the birth and education 
of the ex-President in North Carolina, and to many of the 
leading measures of his administration. Mr. Polk's re- 
sponse was feeling and patriotic. He fondly acknowledged 
his attachment to North Carolina, and the gratification which 
it gave him to receive from the archives, and to transmit to 
our State Executive, the recorded evidence of the early dis- 
loyalty and independent resolves of different portions of 
North Carolina. He spoke of the inestimable value of our 
Union, and of the bright destiny in store for our country, 
provided we shall adhere to this glorious Union, and the 
teachings of the Father of the Eepublic. When he had 
closed, General Marsteller announced to the crowd that at 12 
o'clock Mr. Polk and suite would be happy to see their fellow- 
citizens at the Masonic Hall. And, accordingly, at that 
hour, hundreds repaired thither and offered their salutations 
to our distinguished guests." 

Millard Fillmoee, the thirteenth President of the United 
States, after his retirement, visited Wilmington, on the 12th 


day of May, 1854. He had contemplated a tour of the 
South in 1853, and on March 10th, 1853, the citizens of the 
town met and passed the following resolution : 

Resolved, That a Committee of twenty-four persons, and the Mag- 
istrate of Police, be appointed to correspond with Millard Fillmore, 
late President of the United States, and such of the members of his 
late cabinet as may accompany him on his projected visit to the 
South, and tender to him and to them the hospitalities of our town. 

Under this Resolution, the following gentlemen were ap- 
pointed: T. Burr, jr., H. L. Holmes, Wm. A. Wright, 
Wm. C. Bettencourt, R. C. Cowan, R. H. Berry, Geo. Davis, 
S. J. Person, Jas. S. Green, Jno. Walker, Jno. MacRae, R. 
Strange, jr., J. G. Wright, Gaston Meares, E. Kidder, S. D. 
Wallace, A. A. Brown, E. W. Hall, D. Dupre, M. Costen, 
J. J. Lippitt, P. M. Walker, 0. P. Meares, and J. E. Miller. 

A sub-committee consisting of Messrs. Jas. L. Green, 
John L. Meares, S. J. Person, and A. Empie, jr., were 
appointed to go to Richmond, and tender the hospitalities of 
the town to the President, who was supposed to be on a visit 
there at the time, and to his suite. The death of Mrs. Fill- 
more caused the postponement of the ex-President's tour in 
the South that year, but in 1854 he fulfilled his desire to 
make such a tour, with the assurance to the public that he 
"earnestly wished to avoid the pomp and pageantry of a 
public reception." In the Daily Journal, issue of Friday, 
May 12th, 1854, the files of which are in the local library, 
is an account of the ex-President's visit, as follows : 

"Ex-President Fillmore, of New York, and Mr. Kennedy, 
of Maryland, Secretary of the ISTavy under his administra- 
tion, arrived here this morning on the Manchester cars from 
Columbia. A very large number of our citizens of both 
parties have called upon our distinguished visitors at their 
rooms at Mr. Holmes's Hotel [now a store, S. E. corner 
Market and Front Streets]. Owing to the illness of Mrs. 
Kennedy, they are anxious to reach Baltimore at the earliest 
possible moment, and are thus compelled to leave for the 
!N'orth by the 2 o'clock train. In accordance with the earnest 


wish of the people, Mr. Fillmore had designed to make a 
short address from the balcony of the Hotel at 11 o'clock, 
but, in consequence of the rain, his intention could not be 
carried out. We are pleased to see both gentlemen appa- 
rently in the enjoyment of high health and spirits. Mr. 
Fillmore is certainly a gentleman of exceedingly prepos- 
sessing appearance and manners; and bears little evidence 
of the cares of state having pressed heavily upon him." 


The happy occasion of a visit by Henry Clay to Wilming- 
ton while he was canvassing the South during his presidential 
campaign in 1844, is described by the Wihnington Clironicle 
as follows : 

April 3, 1844. 

"The Committee of Arrangement for the reception and 
entertainment of our distinguished fellow citizen, Henry 
Clay, who in compliance with the invitation of the citizens 
of this town is expected to visit us on Tuesday, the 9th of 
April, 1844, have adopted the following measures." 

(Here follows an elaborate programme.) 

''The following gentlemen are appointed marshals of the 
day, viz: O. G. Parsley, Thos. W. Brown, G. B. Alsaps, 
Jas. Anderson, Geo. W. Davis, Jas. F. McRee, jr., John L. 
Meares, N"athaniel Hill. 

"The following gentlemen compose the accompanying com- 
mittee to wait on Mr. Clay from Charleston, viz: James 
Owen, John MacEae, Dr. Thos. H. Wright, Gen. Alex. Mac- 
Eae, Gilbert Potter, F. C. Hill, Asa A. Brown, Wm. A. 
Wright, A. J. DeRosset, jr., George Davis, R. G. Rankin, 
Porter Strode, Thos. Sanford. 

"The following gentlemen have been appointed to act as 
managers of the ball: R. W. Brown, Edward B. Dudley, 
P. K Dickinson, Jas. S. Green, G. J. McRee, M. London, 
Jas. H. Dickson, Thos. D. Meares, Jno. Hall, and Kath'l 


Me. Clay in Wilmington. 

April 10th, 1844. 

"The publication of the Chronicle has been delayed a day 
to enable us to give some account of the reception and en- 
tertainment of Mr. Clay in Wilmington, where he arrived 
yesterday morning. 

"On Tuesday afternoon between three and four o'clock, 
the Committee of thirteen deputed by the Clay Club to wait 
upon Mr. Clay at Charleston and escort him to. this town, re- 
ceived him on board the fine steamer Gladiator^ Captain 
Smith. The steamer had quite a pleasant night for the 
run, and reached Smithville about sunrise. Mr. Clay was 
there welcomed to the State by the Committee of ten, con- 
sisting of the Chairman of the Whig Central Committee and 
one gentleman from each of the nine Congressional Districts. 
After an hour's delay at Smithville, the steamer was again 
in motion, and reached here at the time named above. From 
a point three or four miles below town until the boat touched 
the wharf a piece of ordnance on board was fired at regular 
intervals and the reports were answered from numerous other 
pieces of artillery, stationed at various places along the river. 
The steamer came to on the south side of Market Street 
dock. Here an immense throng had gathered to greet the 
distinguished man, and as soon as the boat touched the wharf 
there were repeated bursts of the people's welcome. Mr. 
Clay was then introduced to. the Committee of Arrangements, 
and, a procession having formed in the prescribed order, he 
was escorted to his private lodgings at the residence of Mrs. 
Joseph A. Hill, southeast corner of Front and Dock Streets. 

"At 11 o'clock Mr. Clay, accompanied by the Clay Club, 
committees, and citizens, repaired to the new and commodi- 
ous mansion of Capt. Samuel Potter, on Market Street. Here, 
upon the balcony of the house facing Market Street he was 
addressed in a most appropriate manner by ex-Governor 
Dudley, the president of the Clay Club. The address re- 
ferred to the long and arduous public services of Mr. Clay, 


the great debt of gratitude the country justly owes him, the 
strong interest and regard the people throughout the Union 
have manifested for him on numerous occasions, the warm 
affection entertained for him by so large a portion of the 
citizens of North Carolina, and appealed to the multitude 
of upturned faces as furnished evidence that 'Welcome to 
Henry Clay' were the words then gushing spontaneously from 
the hearts of thousands. Mr. Clay made only a short reply, 
not exceeding twenty minutes in length. 

"He said he had long looked forward to this visit to ITorth 
Carolina (which he had promised to make when a fitting 
opportunity should occur) with a pleasing hope, and now 
having set foot upon her soil for the first time to-day, his 
fondest anticipations were in a course of being realized, and 
the event would form an epoch in his life. He had for many 
years wished to visit the State, and the repeated invitations 
formed motives of still weightier influence. 

"He utterly disclaimed all electioneering designs or selfish 
purposes pertaining to his journey. He was traveling on 
business and to enjoy the hospitalities of his friends; the 
people had tendered him unexpected civilities, which he 
could not without rudeness decline. He had also been 
brought out on political topics, and had not hesitated to de- 
clare his sentiments, as became an American citizen. 

"He glanced at the two principal parties of the country, 
expressing his convictions that both of them are in the main 
governed by honest views. Men, he said, should act with 
that party in whose principles they found the least to con- 
demn, after having given them a thorough examination. 
ISTone could expect to find in any party everything exactly as 
they would have it, small defects must be overlooked, as are 
those which a man discovers, perchance, in the woman of his 
admiration. He had attached himself to the Whig party as 
the result of his investigations of the great principles of its 
existence. But every man, he said, should hold party fealty 
as subordinate to that due his country. Properly, parties 
were but instruments for promoting our country's good. 


"Mr. Clay excused himself for the briefness of his dis- 
course by reference to the fatiguing circumstances of his 
journey thus far. 

"The view below and around the place where Mr. Clay 
stood was striking beyond any effort of ours to portray. The 
wide street, for a considerable distance on either hand, was 
one dense mass of human beings, whilst the balconies, win- 
dows, etc., were crowded with ladies, all eager listeners to 
the words of the great statesman of the West. Never was 
such a scene, or anything approaching to it, witnessed in Wil- 

"His speech ended, Mr. Clay entered the reception room, 
and was then introduced to a rushing tide of people, made up 
of both sexes and all ages and conditions. He remained in 
the reception rooms until one o'clock and then retired to his 

"At two o'clock a most bountiful collation, prepared by Mr. 
Keith, was spread out on tables in the open space south of 
Mr. John Walker's house on Princess Street, to which a 
general invitation had been given, and of which hundreds 
partook. Mr. Clay was not present, desiring to have a few 
hours rest. The company was, however, highly gratified 
with able and instructive speeches from Hon. A. H. Stephens, 
Member of Congress from Georgia, who being on his way to 
Washington was induced to remain over a day ; Col. Wm. W. 
Cherry, of Bertie, an orator of surpassing eloquence ; Col. B. 
r. Gaither, of Burke, and others. Mr. Stephens well sus- 
tained the reputation which had preceded him of an elo- 
quent, humorous, and effective speaker. 

"At night there was a superb ball and party at the Carolina 
Hotel and Masonic Hall, — all the rooms being connected for 
the occasion. The whole affair was got up under the superin- 
tendency of ladies of Wilmington. It could not, therefore, 
but be an elegant one. The rooms were beautifully dec- 
orated, the refreshments choice, the supper in refined taste 
and order, the music inspiring, and a hilarious spirit reigned 
throughout the well-filled apartments. How many hours of 


the morning heard the festive strains we do not exactly know 
and will not hazard a conjecture. In the course of the even- 
ing Mr. Clay visited the place of gaiety and remained a 
couple of hours or so. 

"Between seven and eight this morning Mr. Clay took his 
departure for Ealeigh, by way of the railroad, cheered by 
many, many, newly awakened and newly born wishes for his 

"We have thus sketched a meagre outline of Mr. Clay's 
visit to Wilmington. The glowing lines of the picture the 
reader's imagination must supply. The enthusiasm, the 
kindly feeling, the generous good will, all these are to be sup- 
posed, for they were all exhibited in an eminent degree. 

"There was a very gi-eat concourse of strangers in town, 
from this and the neighboring counties, Fayetteville, and 
other parts of the State, who aided us in doing honor to our 
venerable and beloved guest." 


Early in May, 1847, Daniel Webster visited Wilmington 
as the guest of Governor Edward B. Dudley. In an old book 
containing the private correspondence of Mr. Webster I found 
a letter by him dated Wilmington, May 6, 184Y, as follows : 

"At one o'clock yesterday, ten miles from this city, we 
met a special train, with a large deputation, headed by ex- 
Governor Dudley. The weather was bad, and the wind east, 
and I was rather easily persuaded to stay over a day. The 
Governor brought us to his own home, where we were grandly 
lodged. I go to the hotel to meet the citizens at 11 o'clock, 
and go off at half-past two this p. m., if the wind goes down. 
At present it blows rather hard. This is an active little city, 
built on the east side of the river, on sand hills. The good 
people are Whigs, but out of the city, and all round for fifty 
miles, it is a region whose politics are personified by Mr. 



"There is a thing, Harry, which thou hast often heard of, 
and it is known to many in this land hy the name of pitch, 
etc., etc. We are here in the midst of this very thing, at the 
very center of the tar and turpentine region. The pines are 
long-leaved pines. In one of these, a foot from the bottom, 
a notch is cut, and its capacity enlarged and its shape fash- 
ioned a little, so as to hold the liquid, by chiseling, and then 
it is called the 'box.' Above the box the bark is cut off, for a 
foot or so, and the turpentine oozes out of the tree on to this 
smooth surface, and then runs slowly into the box. The box 
holds about a quart. In a good large tree it will fill five 
times a season. Sometimes there are two boxes in one tree, 
so that some trees will yield ten quarts a year. But the 
greatest yield is the first year ; after that it is gradually dimin- 
ished, and in seven or eight years the tree dies, or will yield 
no more turpentine. Tar is made by bringing together wood 
full of turpentine, either trees or knots, and pieces picked up 
in the woods, and burning it in a pit, just as charcoal is made, 
then running it off into a hole prepared for it in the ground. 
At the present price of the article, this is said to be the best 
business now doing in the State. I am told good, fresh, well- 
timbered pine lands can be bought for $1.25 to $1.50 per 

"One barrel of turpentine distilled makes six gallons of 
spirits. The residuum, or resin, is not of much value, say 
twenty-five cents a barrel. Tar and turpentine are now high, 
and the business good." 

The late Col. Thomas C. Mcllhenny, always a welcome 
guest of Governor Dudley, often entertained me by the recital 
of important local events of his earlier years, and upon one 
occasion described the visit of the great Commoner while he 
was also a guest at the Governor's mansion. The Colonel said 
he was much impressed by the great size of Mr. Webster's 
head and the powerful penetration of his searching eyes, 
and by his fancy for the Governor's madeira, of which he 
kept a pipe of superior quality. After drinking all of the 
dining room supply, Mrs. Dudley having withdrawn, Mr. 


Webster laid an affectionate hand upon the Colonel's shoulder 
and said : "Young man, show me where the Governor keeps 
that wine," and being led to the cellar he greatly reduced the 
contents of the cask with much enjoyment, but apparently not 
altogether with satisfaction, because he seldom knew when 
he had enough. 

With reference to Mr. Webster's visit to Wilmington, the 
following from the local newspaper, the Commercial^ of 
Thursday morning, May 6, 1847, is quoted: 

"Hoist. Daniel Webster. 

"The Hon. Daniel Webster and family arrived at this 
place yesterday in the cars at a little before 2 o'clock. 

"Col. John McEae, magistrate of Police, appointed the 
following gentlemen as a committee to meet our distinguished 
guest, and to make the necessary arrangements to entertain 
him while here : 

"Governor Dudley, John D. Jones, L. H. Marsteller, Alex- 
ander McKae, Dr. W. A. Berry, Jas. T. Miller, Dr. F. J. 
Hill, R. W. Brown, Sam'l Potter, Dr. J. H. Dickson, Gil- 
bert Potter, John Walker, C. D. Ellis, Thos. Loring, A. A. 
Brown, D. Fulton, R. B. Wood, J. Ballard, H. W. Beatty, 
J. Hathaway, H. R. Savage, W. C. Bettencourt, Dr. T. H. 
Wright, Thos. D. Meares, John A. Taylor, James S. Green, 
W. N. Peden, Owen Fennel, Miles Costin, Alfred Bryant, 
Dr. J. D. Bellamy, Sam'l Black, Henry N'utt, P. K. Dickin- 

"A number of the committee started in an extra train at 
about eleven o'clock and met the regular train at Rocky Point 
depot, where they entered the mail train, and through Gov- 
ernor Dudley proffered the hospitalities of our town to Mr. 
Webster and his family. On arriving at the depot, they pro- 
ceeded to the residence of Governor Dudley on the southwest 
corner of Front and N'unn Streets. 

"Mr. Webster will leave in the boat today for Charleston. 

"At the request of the committee, appointed by the magis- 


trate of Police, Mr. Webster will meet the citizens of Wil- 
mington at the Masonic Hall this morning at eleven o'clock." 

The same paper, of May 8, 1847, contained the following: 

"Me. Webstee. 

"This gentleman left our place in the boat for Charleston 
on Thursday evening. The arrangements indicated in our 
last were carried out by the committee. At the Masonic Hall 
Mr. Webster made a short address to the many citizens who 
had assembled to pay their respects to him. We believe men 
of all parties were very much gratified on the occasion." 

Mention was also made to me of Mr. Webster's apprecia- 
tion of the excellent cooking in the South, and of his prefer- 
ence for a dish of tripe, which leads me to copy a later letter 
on this subject written in December, 1850, and addressed to 
his hostess at Richmond, Mrs. Paige. 

Dear Mrs. Paige: — I sit down to write a letter, partly diplomatic 
and partly historical. The subject is Tripe — T-R-I-P-E. Your hus- 
band remembers Mrs. Hayman, who was Mrs. Blake's cook. Ex- 
celling others in all else, she excelled herself in a dish of tripe. I 
do not know that her general genius exceeded that of Monica 
McCarty; but in this production she was more exact, more artisti- 
cal; she gave to the article, not only a certain gout, which gratified 
the most fastidious, but an expression, also, an air of haut ton, as It 
lay presented on the table, that assured one that he saw before him 
something from the hand of a master. 

Tradition, it is said, occasionally hands down the practical arts 
with more precision and fidelity than they can be transmitted by 
books, from generation to generation; and I have thought it likely 
that your Lydia may have caught the tact of preparing this inimi- 
table dish. I entertain this opinion on two grounds: first, because I 
have been acquainted with very respectable efforts of hers in that 
line; second, because she knows Mr. Paige's admirable connoisseur- 
ship, and can determine, by her quick eye, when the dish comes 
down from the table, whether the contents have met his approbation. 

For these reasons, and others, upon which it is not necessary for 
the undersigned to enlarge, he is desirous of obtaining Lydia's 
receipt for a dish of tripe, for the dinner-table. Mrs. Hayman's is 
before my eyes. Unscathed by the frying pan, it was white as 
snow; it was disposed in squares, or in parallelograms, of the size of 
a small sheet of ladies' note paper; it was tender as jelly; beside 


it stood the tureen of melted butter, a dish of mealy potatoes, and 
the vinegar cruet. Can this spectacle be exhibited in the Vine 
Cottage, on Louisiana Avenue, in the City of Washington? 
Yours truly, always, 

Dan'l Webster. 

P. S. — Tripe; the etymon is the Greek word to "turn, to wind," 
from its involutions, not the same as "tripod," which means "having 
three feet"; nor the same as "trip," which is from the Latin tripu- 
diare, to strike the feet upon the ground; sometimes to stumble; 
sometimes to go nimbly; to "trip it on the light fantastic toe." 

Washington, 29 December, 1850. 


In 1859 the renowned Edward Everett delivered in hun- 
dreds of cities throughout the United States his splendid 
address on the Character of "Washington, the receipts being 
for the benefit of the Ladies of the Mount Vernon Association. 

Of his visit to Wilmington on that occasion he wrote in 
his Mount Vernon Papers : "Its population, as far as I could 
judge from a short visit, is intelligent, enterprising, and 
rather more than usually harmonious among themselves. The 
river prospects from elevated positions are remarkably fine. 
An immense audience, assembled in Thalian Hall on the 11th 
of April last, honored the repetition of my address on the 
Character of Washington, and the net receipts of the even- 
ing, $1,091.80, were, in proportion to population, far beyond 
those of any other place in the Union." 

Mr. Everett has also been quoted as saying that at Wil- 
mington alone, during his travels, he was introduced by an 
orator who surpassed himself, Mr. Greorge Davis. 

We copy an interesting account of Mr. Everett's oration 
in Wilmington from the Daily Journal of that date. 

April 12, 1859. 

"Mb. Eveeett''s Okation. 

"Last evening Thalian Hall was filled by an attentive 
audience, eager to listen to the Washington oration of Hon. 
Edward Everett, of Massachusetts. 


"At 8 o'clock Mr. Everett, accompanied by a committee of 
citizens, appeared upon the stage and was introduced to the 
audience by George Davis, Esq., whose eloquent though brief 
remarks formed a fitting prelude to the splendid composition 
of the distinguished speaker. 

"Mr. Everett is, we believe, 65 years of age, tall, rather 
portly than otherwise, his hair, trimmed short, is nearly 
white, and we learn from those who have heard him before 
that either advancing years or illness have considerably sub- 
dued the vigor of his tones and the energy of his delivery. 
His features, those of a cultivated gentleman, have been or 
will be made familiar to most through the portraits of him 
which have been published. 

"We have no desire to attempt any sketch of Mr. Everett's 
address further than to glance at a very few points. He 
spoke of three eras in Washington's life — when he fought in 
the old French War, when he took command of the American 
forces, and when he retired from that command. He spoke 
of what he denominated the Age of Washington, reviewed the 
history of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth cen- 
tury; enumerated the great things that had been done, and 
the great men that had figured within that space of time to 
which future ages would turn as the Era of Washington ; con- 
trasted the character of the American hero and statesman 
with that of Peter the Great of Russia, Frederick the Great 
of Prussia, or Napoleon the Great of France. 

"From Major Washington's visit to Venango down to the 
last stage of President Washington's life, the speaker followed 
that great man's career, dwelling with inimitable skill upon 
the great and good points of his character. 

"Better still than his comparison and contrast of the char- 
acter of Washington with that of the great men of his own 
immediate day, was the episode in which he turned back to 
John, Duke of Marlborough, the wittiest statesman, the most 
astute diplomatist, the greatest captain of his day, yet a dis- 
honest man, faithless to his sovereign, a traitor to his country, 
and a robber of the brave soldiers whose strong arms gave 


him victory. He pictured in glowing language the beauty and 
the grandeur of 'Blenheim/ the seat which national grati- 
tude or kingly extravagance had given to the great bad man, 
naming it after that 'famous victory.' After all, 'Blen- 
heim,' with it storied urn and animated bust, its pompous 
eulogy and lying praise, could only serve to perpetuate the 
shame and infamy of John Churchill. But away on the banks 
of the calm Potomac, there rose an humble mansion, bought 
with no money wrested from the hands of an oppressed and 
reluctant people, a mansion in which the Father of his Coun- 
try lived quietly and well Avith his beloved Martha, and from 
which he passed away peacefully to the bosom of his God. 
Around that humble mansion clustered hallowed recollections 
unstained by aught that could dim their purity. That home 
the women of America sought to secure, that they might guard 
it as a sacred trust, restore it to the pristine beauty and sim- 
plicity in which its great owner had left it, and transmit it 
as a sacred heritage to their children forever. 

"In the course of his oration, Mr. Everett alluded very 
feelingly to Washington's last and most emphatic advice to 
his countrymen, to preserve the Union of the States. He 
drew himself a most painful picture of the probable effect of 

"The audience was the fullest we have ever seen in Wil- 
mington. We should think the receipts will not vary much 
from a thousand dollars. We believe all were pleased, many 
delighted, none dissatisfied, although some, perhaps, looked 
for a rather different style of speaking, more, perhaps, of 
what is generally regarded as oratory, more stirring, more 
declamatory. The address was highly polished, beautiful in 
conception, chaste, yet magnificent in execution, the work of a 
scholar, a rhetorician, faultlessly delivered, too faultlessly 
for an orator, perhaps, for oratory is never finished, it sug- 
gests more than it directly conveys, its apparent failures are 
sometimes its most effective points, its seeming, mayhaps its 
real forgetfulness, make us, too, forget, carry us away, lead 
our feelings captive, we cease to mark gesture or tone, we 


feel but do not analyze our feelings. Mr. Everett may be, 
perhaps is, something more or higher than an orator, but he 
is also something different." 


In April, 1850, one of the most remarkable demonstrations 
in the history of Wilmington occurred on the occasion of the 
death of the illustrious John C. Calhoun. The following 
excerpts from the local newspapers of that date indicate the 
profound emotion which stirred the hearts of our people : 

"Another of the Master Spirits of the country has passed 
from time to eternity. John C. Calhoun died in the City of 
Washington on Sunday morning last. The sad intelligence 
of his death was to some extent anticipated from recent re- 
ports of his dangerous sickness, yet it will strike with heavy 
force upon the public mind. 

"The following telegraphic dispatch, dated Washington, 
March 31st, we copy from the Charleston Mercury of Mon- 
day : 'Mr. Calhoun died this morning at a quarter past seven 
o'clock in the full possession of his faculties. A few hours 
previous he directed his son, Dr. John C. Calhoun, to lock 
up his manuscripts, and just before his death he beckoned 
him to his bedside and, with his eyes fixed upon him, expired. 
He died without the slightest symptom of pain, and to the last 
his eyes retained their brilliancy. With his son, there were 
at his bedside, Mr. Venable, of North Carolina, and Messrs. 
Orr and Wallace, of South Carolina. Mr. Venable has been 
devoted in his attentions to him for weeks, and is entitled to 
the deepest gratitude. The body will be placed in a metallic 
coffin and deposited in the Congressional Burial Ground until 
the wishes of his family are ascertained. 

" 'The Governor of South Carolina has appointed a com- 
mittee of twenty-five, consisting of citizens of Charleston, to 
proceed to Washington to receive and convey to his native 
State the remains of John C. Calhoun.' " 


Wilmington Chronicle. 

Wednesday, April 24, 1850. 
"Remains of Mr. Calhoun. It is expected that the remains 
of Mr. Calhoun will reach Wilmington today about 12 o'clock. 
The committee of arrangements publish the following : 
Order of Procession. 
For escorting the remains of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun. 
The procession will be formed in the following order, the right 
resting on the railroad depot, in open order, for the reception of the 
corps of attendance on the arrival of the cars. 

Order of Procession. 
Clergy of the various denominations. 
Sergeant at Arms and assistants. 

Relations of the deceased. 
Committee of the U. S. Senate. 
Committee of South Carolina. 
Committee of Arrangements. 
Citizens of South Carolina. 
Judges of the Supreme and Superior Courts. 
Members of the Bar. 
Members of the Medical Profession. 

Magistrate of Police and Commissioners of the town. Collector of 
Customs and officers of the U. S. service, President and Directors 
of the Wilmington and Raleigh R. R., members of the various 
societies of the town, in citizen dress, teachers of the schools and 
academies, captains of vessels and seamen, citizens and strangers. 

"The Committee of Arrangements recommend the follow- 
ing to their fellow citizens. A committee of ten, consisting 
of A. J. DeRosset, sr., James Owen, Jas. F. McEee, sr., 
Thos. H. Wright, P. K. Dickinson, John Walker, Wm. C. 
Bettencourt, Thos. Loring, F. J. Hill, of Brunswick, and Jas. 
Iredell, of Ealeigh, will proceed up the line of the Wilming- 
ton and Ealeigh E. E. to receive the remains, and escort them 
in their passage through the State. These gentlemen will 
also act as pallbearers in the procession. 

"The citizens generally are requested to close their stores, 
to suspend all operations of business, and to meet at the depot 


at 12 o'clock. There the procession will be formed, under 
the direction of Wm. C. Howard as Chief Marshal, to re- 
ceive the remains in open order and escort them to the foot 
of Market Street, where the boat for Charleston, the Nina, 
will be waiting to receive them. 

"A gun from the wharf of the Wilmington and Raleigh 
R. E.. Co. will give the earliest notice of the arrival of the 
cars. Immediately upon the firing of this gun, the flags of 
the public buildings and the ships in port will be struck at 
half mast ; the bells of the town will commence tolling and 
minute guns will be fired. 

"The clergy and the pallbearers are requested to call at 
Messrs. Dawson's store for gloves and crape. The citizens 
will find a supply of crape at the same place. 

"The steamer will leave for Charleston, it is expected, 
about five o'clock, p. m. 

"Wm. C. Howard, C. M. 
J. G. Green, 
Eli W. Hall, Asst. M." 

Tuesday, April 23, 1850. 

"The steamer Nina arrived here yesterday from Charles- 
ton, for the purpose of conveying hence to that city the re- 
mains of Mr. Calhoun. 

"Courtesy : The Mayor of Charleston has, on behalf of the 
city, tendered its hospitalities to the Magistrate of Police of 
Wilmington, and the committee appointed to receive the re- 
mains of Mr. Calhoun on the passage through this place to 
South Carolina. Colonel Miller, the Magistrate of Police, 
has addressed a polite note to the Mayor accepting the cour- 
teous proffer. The South Carolina State Committee of 
Arrangements have also invited the Wilmington Committee 
to proceed to Charleston, join in the funeral solemnities, and 
become the guests of the city. 

"The Committee of the Senate appointed to accompany 
the remains of Mr. Calhoun to South Carolina have invited 


three gentlemen of the House to accompany them, to wit: 
Mr. Holmes, Mr. Winthrop, and Mr. Venable, all of whom 
have accepted the invitation." 

The following is copied from the Wilmington Chronicle 
of May 1, 1850 : 

''^Eeception of the remains of Mr. Calhoun. On Wednes- 
day last, near 2 o'clock, p. m., the cars arrived from Weldon, 
bringing in the mortal remains of John C. Calhoun, in the 
special charge of Mr. Beale, the Sergeant at Arms of the 
U. S. Senate, and Senators Mason, of Virginia, Clarke, of 
Rhode Island, Dickinson, of New York, Davis, of Missouri, 
and Dodge, of Iowa, and Mr. Berrien, of Georgia. The 
other members of the Senate Committee joined them in 
Charleston, having gone on some days before. Mr. Venable, 
of North Carolina, and Mr. Holmes, of South Carolina, 
Members of the House of Representatives, accompanied the 
committee by invitation. Mr. Winthrop, of Massachusetts, 
who had likewise been invited to form one of the com- 
pany, was prevented from doing so. A committee of 
twenty-five from South Carolina and three of the sons of the 
deceased also accompanied the remains. The citizens of 
North Carolina to whom had been assigned the duty of at- 
tending on the remains whilst passing through Wilming- 
ton, proceeded up the railroad and joined the train some 
thirty or forty miles above, and in the procession from the 
depot to the steamer at the wharf acted as pallbearers. The 
arrangements as to the procession, etc., were carried into 
effect in accordance with the progTamme published in our 
last issue." 

The following we take from the Journal : "On the arrival 
of the cars, the stores and places of business were closed, the 
shipping in port struck their colors to half mast, the bells of 
the various churches were tolled, and minute guns fired while 
the procession moved from the depot down Front Street to the 
steamer Nina lying at Market Street dock, where she was 
waiting to receive the remains of the lamented deceased, and 
convey them to the City of Charleston. 


"Notwithstanding the inclemency of the day, the proces- 
sion was, we think, the largest we have ever seen in this place. 
Everybody seemed anxious to pay the last respect to the 
statesman and orator who has so long and so faithfully filled 
some of the most responsible posts of his country. 

"The steamer. Governor Dudley, handsomely decorated for 
the occasion, accompanied the Nina, taking over a portion of 
the committees and guests to the City of Charleston. Both 
steamers left the wharf about half past three o'clock p. m. 

"Wilmington Committee. The gentlemen whose names 
follow went to Charleston on Wednesday last, with the re- 
mains of Mr. Calhoun, as a committee from the citizens of 
Wilmington, in manifestation of respect for the memory of 
the illustrious deceased: Dr. A. J. DeRosset, sr., J. T., 
Miller, Gen. James Owen, C. D. Ellis, Gen. L. H. Marsteller, 
P. M. Walker, Thos. Loring, A. J. DeRosset, jr.. Dr. J. F. 
McRee, jr., Dr. John Swann, Dr. Wm. A. Berry, James 
Pulton, James G. Green, Henry R. Savage, Wm. C. Betten- 
court, Edward Cantwell, John Cowan, John L. Holmes, Eli 
W. Hall, Joseph J. Lippitt, Henry Nutt, Robert H. Cowan, 
and A. A. Brown. 

"The Charleston Courier of Saturday says: 'A committee 
appointed by the citizens of Wilmington came on in the 
steamer ISTina and was met at the landing by the Chairman 
of the Committee of Reception, who welcomed them to the 
city and extended to them its hospitalities, to which Dr. De- 
Rosset, sr., their chairman, responded in an appropriate 

"We should be greatly lacking in courtesy were we not to 
express in this public manner the high sense of gratefulness 
which rests with the Wilmington Committee for the manifold 
attentions and kindnesses bestowed upon them in Charleston 
by the Committee of Reception and by many others. The pro- 
fuse and elegant hospitality of which the members of our 
committee were the objects is very deeply appreciated by them 
individually and collectively." 



In Mr. Webster's letter from Wilmington, already quoted, 
he makes reference to a Mr. McKay as personifying politi- 
cal sentiment outside the town of Wilmington. 

Gen. James Ivor McKay was born in Bladen County 
in 1793 and died suddenly at Goldsboro, K C, the 15th of 
September, 1853, while on his way home from Tarboro. As 
his name "Ivor" indicates, he was eminently great. In the 
campaign of 1844 his report as Chairman of the Committee 
of Ways and Means constituted the Democratic platform on 
which Polk was elected President; and in 1848 the Demo- 
crats of ISTorth Carolina presented him as their candidate for 
the Vice Presidency. 

It was said of this distinguished son of the Cape Fear that 
he was very quiet and reserved in his deportment and held 
in contempt all manner of base dealing and trickery — a man 
of such integrity that his presence always inspired confidence 
and trustfulness in those whose expressions he desired, be- 
cause they believed in his fidelity. 

The Wilmington Daily Journal of September 16, 1853, 
the day after his death, said : 

"It becomes our painful duty this morning to announce the 
unexpected death of one of our most worthy citizens, Gen. 
James I. McKay, of Bladen County. General McKay arrived 
here on last Monday night from his residence in Bladen, en 
route for Tarboro, in Edgecombe County, as a witness in the 
case of the State against Armstrong. When we saw him on 
Tuesday morning he was apparently in better health than for 
some time previous, and conversed freely. We learn that on 
his return from Edgecombe yesterday afternoon he was taken 
suddenly ill on board the cars, and on arriving at Goldsboro 
it was found necessary for him to stop, where he expired, at 
Mrs. Borden's Hotel, at a quarter before 8 o'clock yesterday 
evening, of bilious or cramp cholic, in the sixty-fifth year of 
his age. 


"As a public man, General McKay was well known to be a 
firm and consistent Democrat, having served liis constituents 
for eighteen years, from 1831 to 1849, as Member of Con- 
gress from this District, and during that time, at one period, 
occupying with marked ability the high and very responsible 
office of Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, of 
which committee he was chairman at the time of the passage 
of the Tariff Bill of 1846. As a representative, no Member of 
Congress commanded more attention or respect. He might 
truly be said to have served his constituents, 'till he volun- 
tarily retired,' as a national representative, — always looking 
to the best interests of the whole country, and discarding all 
factious and sectional jealousies." 

At a meeting of the members of the Wilmington Bar held 
on Saturday, the 17th day of September, 1853, the following 
proceedings were had. 

"On motion of H. L. Holmes, Esq., Kobert Strange, jr., 
Thomas C. Miller, Mauger London, and David Reid, were 
appointed a committee to prepare resolutions expressive of 
the regret of the members of the Bar, upon hearing of the 
death of Hon. James I. McKay, who died suddenly at Golds- 
boro, on Thursday evening last. Mr. Strange, from the com- 
mittee, reported the following preamble and resolutions: 

This meeting of the members of the Wilmington Bar has heard 
with deep regret of the sudden and melancholy death of Hon. James 
I. McKay, of Bladen County. General McKay for many years was a 
leading practitioner in the Courts of this Circuit, and since he 
retired from the Bar, has been greatly distinguished in the councils 
of the nation. The force of his intellect won for him this high posi- 
tion and strict adherence to his principles and great regard for the 
honor and safety of his country, combined with almost unparalleled 
integrity, as a public man, secured to him a national reputation, of 
which North Carolina may justly be proud. 

While the death of General McKay is a loss to the whole country, 
yet we with whom he has been more immediately associated, cannot 
withhold this slight tribute of respect to his memory. 

Therefore resolved, That by the death of Hon. James I. McKay, 
North Carolina has been deprived of one of her most distinguished 
citizens, and the whole nation of one whose faithful adherence to the 
Constitution of his country, and whose great ability and honesty of 
purpose, have won the admiration of men of all parties. 


At Wilmington, as his remains were borne through the 
city, there was a great public demonstration. His body was 
met by the military, all the bells of the city tolled, and an 
escort accompanied the remains to their last resting place 
in the family burying place on the home plantation in Bladen. 
The steamboat which conveyed the sad cortege from Wil- 
mington to Elizabethtown was decked in the habiliments of 
woe, and its monotone wail resounded continuously through 
the forests that lined the banks of the river. 


On the evening of the 30th of April, 1856, the old Court- 
house of !N'ew Hanover County, on Princess Street in Wil- 
mington, was "packed and jammed" by an enthusiastic and 
excited meeting of the local Democratic association, of which 
Dr. John D. Bellamy was the President, J. D. Gardner, 
jr., and C. H. Eobinson, the Secretaries. Eli W. Hall, Esq., 
a prominent lawyer, was called to the chair and made an elo- 
quent address upon political affairs out of which had arisen 
a strong party contest for Commissioners of JSTavigation. 
He showed how Know-Nothing victories had been won over 
an unsuspecting people, and party issues forced upon a com- 
munity in whose local affairs they had been previously un- 

Dr. W. C. Wilkings, a prominent young physician and 
politician, was loudly called for, and he responded in an 
animated and stirring address (so runs the Journal) in which 
he portrayed the absurdity, the nonsense, the arrogance of 
the assumption of exclusive Americanism, made, he said, 
by the anti-Democratic party. He was followed by Moody 
B. Smith, a strong speaker, who was listened to with close 
attention, interrupted by frequent applause. 

At the conclusion of his speech Mr. Ashe moved a vote of 
thanks to the speakers. 

On Saturday, May 3, 1856, another grand rally of the 
Democrats was held in front of the Carolina Hotel on Market 


and Second Streets, and the assembled crowd proceeded 
thence with torches at a late hour in the evening to the 
"Oaks," on Dry Pond. 

The Journal says that insulting reference had been made 
by the "Know-Nothings" to the "Sand Hill Tackies." Hon. 
Warren Winslow was the principal speaker and received the 
thanks of the assembly for his eloquent address. He was fol- 
lowed by Mr. John L. Holmes, who spoke in earnest and stir- 
ring style. The fateful election of Commissioners of Navi- 
gation which was to include one of the most painful tragedies 
in the history of Wilmington occurred on the 5th of May, 
1856. The poll was as follows: 

Democratic Ticket. 

K K Nixon 493 

G. W. Davis 503 

Miles Costin 497 

George Houston 491 

L. B. Huggins 491 

Know-Nothing Ticket. 

E. F. Brown 500 

J. H. Flanner 498 

T. C. Worth 501 

George Harriss 507 

Silas N. Martin 494 

The Journal says that by some strange mistake an active 
and staunch Democrat, in the heat and excitement of the 
voting, got hold of and put in a Know-Nothing vote, thus in 
fact electing Mr. Flanner, whereas, had the mistake not oc- 
curred, Mr. Costin would have been elected, and the board 
would have stood three Democrats to two Know-Nothings. 

In the meantime, intense excitement throughout the tovTn 
was caused by a rumor that Doctor Wilkings' speech, referred 
to, had incensed his friend, Mr. J. H. Flanner, who had pub- 
lished a card which resulted in a challenge to mortal combat 
from Doctor Wilkings. I was then nine years of age, at 
Jewett's School, and I remember distinctly the excitement of 


the school boys while Mr. Flanner dashed past the schoolhouse 
behind his two black thoroughbreds on the way to the fatal 

The Herald of Monday, May 5, 1856, said: "Our com- 
munity was painfully startled on Saturday afternoon last by 
the reception of a telegraphic dispatch from Marion, S. C, to 
the effect that a hostile meeting had taken place near Fair 
Bluff, between Dr. William C. Wilkings and Joseph H. 
Flanner, Esq., both young men and citizens of this place, and 
that on the third fire the former received the ball of his an- 
tagonist through the lungs, and in a very few moments ex- 
pired. The difficulty gi-ew out of a speech made by Doctor 
Wilkings on Wednesday evening last, at the Democratic meet- 
ing at the Courthouse. They fought with pistols, at ten 
paces, Mr. Wilkings being the challenger." The gloom over 
this dreadful affair hung for many years over those who parti- 
cipated in it, and the principal, who survived the duel, 
and, going abroad as a State agent, survived the four years' 
war, died some years later, it is said unhappy and under a 
cloud, in a foreign land. 

The following cards are taken from the Daily Journal, 
May 5, Y and 8, 1856, to show something of the temper of 
the public mind with reference to this sad and exciting affair. 


"In Marion District, S. C, on the 3d instant. Dr. W. C. 
Wilkings, of Wilmington, N". C, aged about 30 years. 

"Lost to the community in the full promise of a glorious 
manhood, few men could be more deeply or more generally 
regretted than our deceased friend. Brave, ardent, and gen- 
erous, gifted by nature, refined and strengthened by educa- 
tion, there lay before him the prospect of a long, useful 
and honorable career. That career has been cut short, 
the promise of his ripe manhood left unfulfilled, and he has 
gone down to his grave before his time, but his memory will 
long survive in the hearts of his friends, and the turf that 


rests over his cold form be kept green by the unbidden tear 
starting even from eyes that knew him not in life. 

"Our intimate acquaintance with Dr. Wilkings was of 
comparatively recent date, and arose out of community of 
political feeling. But we soon learned to love and respect 
the man for himself, and we now mourn him as a personal 
friend. It is for those who have known him longer and better 
than we to do justice to his character. We could not omit 
this feeble and inadequate tribute to his memory. 

"Yesterday his remains were followed to their last resting 
place in Oakdale Cemetery by the largest and most deeply 
affected concourse of people that has ever been seen in Wil- 
mington. Many an eye was wet, although long unused to 
tears, and as the solemn bell tolled all hearts throbbed mourn- 
fully and painfully. When he died, a MAlvT, a noble, true- 
hearted man, passed from amongst us. 


"Saddened by a great calamity in our midst, we have no 
heart today for political discussion. Overpowered by feel- 
ings beyond our ability to express, we know that mere words 
would be out of place. Standing in heart by the freshly 
opened grave of a valued friend, whose warm grasp yet 
thrills through our frame, can we be expected to raise a shout 
of contest or victory? Duty to our principles alone impels 
us, but, in sorrow or in joy, that feeling should predominate. 
We trust that it will prove so to-day, that, though saddened, 
the Democrats are not disheartened. 

"Now is not the time to speak of recent events, l^ow is 
not the time to harrow up hearts yet bleeding, and we forbear. 
That God who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb will be 
the comforter and sustainer of the bereaved ones in their 
deep affliction. Let us trust that His helping hand will not 
be withheld, that He will pour balm into the bleeding wounds, 
that He will bind up the broken hearts of those whose sorrow 
is more than they can bear. 


Wilmington, N. C, May 6, 1856. 
As there are reports in circulation calculated to do the under- 
signed much injustice, in reference to the late unfortunate difiBculty 
between Mr. Planner and Dr. Wilkings, we feel compelled to state 
that with the advice of our lamented friend. Dr. Wilkings, we ex- 
pressed ourselves on different occasions as perfectly willing to agree 
to any honorable settlement; and under the influence of thii feeling, 
when, after the second exchange of shots. Dr. James F. McRee, jr., 
who was acting in the capacity of surgeon to both parties (both be- 
ing present) approached and expressed a warm desire that the 
matter should be settled, saying that "it had gone far enough, and 
ought to be settled, that both parties had acted fairly and honorably, 
and had shown to us, as well as to the world, that they would always 
be ready to resent any imputation on their honor," and then pro- 
posed, for the purpose of giving Dr. Wilkings an opportunity of 
making an explanation of his remarks made in the Courthouse, that 
Mr. Planner should withdraw his card published in the Herald of 
the 1st inst., to which we assented, expressing our willingness, if the 
card was withdrawn, to disclaim for Dr. Wilkings using the 
language imputed to him by Mr. Planner. This proposition, coming 
as it did from a friend of both parties, we sincerely desired would 
be accepted by the opposite party. It was not, and the matter pro- 
ceeded to its unfortunate termination. 

W. M. Walkeb. 

F. N. Waddeix, jb. 

These are the very words, we think. Dr. McRee doubtless recol- 

"The above card, witli a few slight alterations, was pre- 
pared for publication last evening, but was withheld at the 
suggestion of a friend, in order, if possible, to make a joint 
statement by both parties. With that purpose in view, I called 
upon Mr. O. P. Meares, and handed him the card for his 
perusal, suggesting at the time that if there was any modifi- 
cation he desired and we approved of it, we would sign it. 
He objected to the card on the ground that it did not contain 
a proposition for a settlement of the dijfficulty which he, Mr. 
Meares, had offered me ; the acceptance of which, on consul- 
tation, was declined, because we felt it would sacrifice the 
honor of our friend. This proposition was not inserted in the 
original card, because we did not consider it pertinent to our 
exculpation from the charges now rife in the community. I 
then requested Mr. Meares to reduce his proposition to writ- 


ing, which he did, but as we differ so materially in our re- 
spective recollections of its character, I thought it but right 
to publish his as well as my own recollection of it. 

"W. M. Walker." 

The last conversation held between Mr. Meares and Mr. Walker, 
before the third fire, was after the following manner and to this 
effect: Mr. Meares called Mr. Walker to him and said that he was 
willing to make a fair and honorable settlement, that he, Mr. Meares, 
would not make an unconditional retraction of Mr. Planner's card, 
but he, Mr. Meares, would make in writing a withdrawal or retrac- 
tion for a specific purpose, and that specific purpose (expressed in 
the same paper writing) should be to allow an explanation on the 
part of Doctor Wilkings, to which Mr. Walker replied that he would 
consult his friends, and then walked to where his friends were, and 
after conversing with them for a few moments, remarked that we 
would have to go to work again. Whereupon we Immediately loaded 
the pistols and the third fire was had. O. P. Meares. 

May 6, 1856, 12 o'clock. 

N. B. — Mr. Meares, at the request of Mr. Walker, gives him the 
above as his statement of his proposition made to Mr. Walker im- 
mediately before the third fire. 

Mb. O. p. Meares, 

Dear Sir: — After having duly considered the above statement, and 
not being able to reconcile it to my recollection of our conversation, 
I consulted my friend, Mr. Waddell, to whom I had repeated it word 
for word in a few moments after its occurrence. I find his recollec- 
tion accords with my own, and that is, that your proposition made to 
me on the above occasion, was to the following effect: Mr. Wilkings 
should request in writing a withdrawal of the card of Mr. Planner 
and in the same writing should state what would be the character 
of his, Mr. Wilkings, explanation. In this event, you furthermore 
stated you would consent to withdraw Mr. Planner's card for that 
specific purpose, viz: for the purpose of receiving Mr. Wilkings' ex- 
planation. This proposition, as friends of Mr. Wilkings, having his 
honor in our keeping, we felt bound to reject. 

May 6, 1856, 2 o'clock, p. m. W. M. Walker. 

To THE Public. 
"I take this method of making a few statements in ex- 
planation of the course pursued by me, in connection with the 
recent duel. I can say, with a clear conscience, that I was 
fully impressed with the responsibility which was attached 
to my position. I knew that upon one unguarded expression, 
or one imprudent act of mine, might depend the life of a fel- 


low being. I can also say that I was not actuated by any 
feeling of enmity towards the late Dr. Wilkings. We had 
been born and raised in the same community, and though not 
intimate friends, we had never had any personal difficulty 
in our lives. I can say, too, that Mr. Flanner made the dec- 
laration before he left town, as he did on the field after the 
second fire, that he did not desire to take the life of his op- 
ponent, and that he hoped a fair and honorable settlement 
would be made. For these reasons, I went upon the field 
with the full determination to accept any proposition for a 
settlement which I could regard as fair and honorable — and 
during the conversation which occurred after the second ex- 
change of shots, I repeatedly said that I desired a fair and 
honorable settlement. By way of showing my willingness 
for such a settlement, I call attention to the fact, that, as the 
representative of the challenged party, my duty was simply to 
receive and consider such propositions as might be made by 
the challenging party, and such is the course usually pursued 
by persons when placed in the same position, and yet I went 
beyond my duty by making the proposition for a withdrawal 
for a specific purpose, as set forth in the card signed by me 
and published by Mr. Walker in the Journal of yesterday. 

"I deem it due to the public to state, that the first mention 
which was made of a settlement was immediately after the 
first fire, when Dr. James F. McEee, jr., who was acting as 
the surgeon for both parties, remarked that he hoped the 
difficulty could now be settled, as the parties had taken one 
fire. Whereupon, I turned to Mr. W. M. Walker, who was 
the representative of the other party, and asked him the ques- 
tion, in the presence of all the parties : *What have you to 
say, Mr. Walker?' To which he immediately replied as 
follows : 'Well, sir, we still occupy our former position ; you 
must retract and apologize for your card.' I then said, 'Is 
this all you have to say.' He answered 'Yes.' And then 
I said, 'We have no retraction or apology to make.' We 
then loaded the pistols and the second fire was made. 


"The object of this card is not to give a full account of all 
the facts which occurred upon the field ; it is merely to state 
what is sufficient, and no more, to explain the course which 
I pursued upon the field. In conclusion, I will say that the 
position taken by me, with regard to a settlement was that I 
was willing to retract Mr. Planner's card for a specific pur- 
pose, it being so expressed in writing, but that I would not 
make an unconditional retraction of his card. 

"I regret the necessity which compels me to publish even 
this much upon this subject. "O. P. Meares.'' 

"May 8, 1856." 

The allegation in Dr. Wilkings' speech that the ticket of 
the opposition was composed of merchants who would not 
hesitate to sacrifice the public interests (quarantine, etc.) 
for the sake of a dollar brought out the publication of Mr. 
Planner's card on the following day, that the statement was 
false, and that Dr. Wilkings knew it was false when he 
made it. Wilkings promptly challenged Planner, whose first 
shot struck Wilkings' hat, the third penetrated his right lung 
and killed him instantly. 


Mr. Stephen Jewett, a most amiable and estimable gentle- 
man, cabinetmaker by trade, settled in Smithville about the 
year 1839, where he was employed in the United States Gov- 
ernment service and also as postmaster of that village. While 
residing there he married Miss Mary Gracie, a Scotch lady of 
great accomplishments, intimately related to the president of 
the Bank of Cape Pear, Dr. John Hill. Mr. and Mrs. Jewett 
subsequently opened a school at Smithville which they con- 
ducted jointly, she having been previously engaged in the 
profession of teaching in Wilmington. Mrs. Jewett died 
while on her way to Moore County with her husband. 

Some years later Mr. Jewett was married to Miss Lucy 
Bradley, sister of the late Mr. Eichard Bradley. He then 
made his home here, and became cashier of the Bank of Wil- 


mington, in which capacity he served, honored and respected 
by the community, until his death during the yellow fever 
epidemic in 1862. 

Mr. George W. Jewett, a professional school-teacher of 
, superior attainments, came to Wilmington from Kent Hill, 
Maine, at the suggestion of his brother Stephen, about the 
year 1852, and opened the Wilmington Male and Female 
Seminary in a small frame house on the west side of Third 
Street, near Ann Street, and later in the old Society Hall in 
the rear of St. James' Church. He was assisted in the fe- 
male department by his accomplished wife and two other 
Northern ladies, Miss-Btetson and Miss Whipple. A large 
majority of Mr. Jewett's boys at that time were sons of the 
best people of our community, with a reasonable knowledge of 
the rules of propriety, notwithstanding which his school disci- 
pline was marked, under the influence of passion, by frequent 
acts of unnecessary severity, and, at times, by positive 
cruelty ; which, instead of breaking down his institution, in- 
creased the patronage, our fathers in those days evidently 
regarding such physical treatment as both wholesome and 
necessary. There were a few very disorderly boys, however, 
who deserved a whipping as regularly as they got it. Who, 
among the survivors of the incorrigibles, can forget the stern 
command : "Walk into the recitation room, sir," over which 
apartment might have been written, "He who enters here 
leaves hope behind" ; because the unhappy culprit to whom 
this exclamation was addressed at once gave himself up for 
lost, reminding us of Marryat's boy, Walter Puddock, who 
having been hauled up by his preceptor, O'Gallagher, without 
remonstrance, immediately began to prepare for punishment 
by the reduction of wearing apparel. 

Oft repeated flagellations, according to the testimony of the 
old time Eton boys, render the subject callous, and some of 
these hopeless cases of Mr. Jewett's became so hardened by 
this process that they ceased to make any outcry, and in the 
language of the prize ring, came up smiling after the first 
round, while the preceptor had evidently the worst of it. 


Two habitual offenders, J. M. and W. F., however, found 
it necessary to protect themselves from the neck downwards 
with padding, which sometimes shifted during the inevitable 
struggle, exposing the epidermis, and causing yells of en- 
treaty, and other demonstrations of suffering, which could 
be heard at a great distance. 

Many who were Mr. Jewett's pupils will recall the com- 
pulsory singing lessons and the noisy demonstrations when 
the exhilarating and senseless fugues of "Three Blind Mice" 
and "Scotland's Burning" were rendered in conclusion. 

Two or three years later the school was removed to the 
premises on the east corner of Third and Ann Streets and 
continued until the commencement of the war, when Mr. 
Jewett went to Statesville, where he taught for a while. He 
returned to Wilmington about the close of the war and re- 
sumed teaching in the house occupied by the late Captain 
Divine, and subsequently on the corner of Second and Chest- 
nut Streets, but left about the year 1881 for his former home 
in Maine, where he died of heart disease. The summons came 
suddenly, while he was sitting dressed in his chair. He sim- 
ply straightened out his arms and ceased to breathe. 

While teaching in the Wood house, on the corner of Second 
and Chestnut Streets, an incident occurred which has been 
treasured by the surviving pupils as one of the few occasions 
when the boys "got ahead of" their alert preceptor. Doc Nutt 
and John Cantwell were reckoned as the incorrigibles of the 
school, and they ceased not to torment the teacher with their 
irrepressible pranks ; it was, therefore, not at all unusual when 
Mr. Jewett, at the closing hour, ordered them one fine after- 
noon to remain for punishment. The hours wore away until 
nightfall, and as the teacher came not, the truth dawned on 
the delinquents that he had forgotten them. They heard his 
tread upstairs returning from the Lodge meeting, followed 
by a stillness which convinced them that he had retired for 
the night. Immediately Doc's fertile brain hatched out a 
plot ; a whispered agreement was made in the semi-darkness 
of the room ; the window on Second Street, which was only 


a few feet from the ground, was raised ; the two boys climbed 
gently to the street and lowered the sash to a chip on the sill 
so that they could grip it on the outside. They then pro- 
ceeded homeward, and after a hearty supper and a sound 
sleep they reappeared at school at daylight and noiselessly 
assumed their places at their desks. When the old woman 
who made the fires and swept the room appeared later, she was 
fairly astounded to see them sleepily conning the tasks as- 
signed to them. With a loud exclamation she brought Mr. 
Jewett down in his night clothes. He was profuse in his 
apologies — distressed with the thought of his forgetfulness — 
and tenderly solicitous for their welfare. They had suffered 
enough, he said, and were excused from attendance until the 
following day. The scamps played their part well, and wisely 
kept their own counsel. 

Market Street between Third and Fourth Streets was a 
busy scene of healthful sport for the boys during the hour of 
recess ; "old hundred," "three-handed cat," games of marbles 
"for fun" and for "winnance," spinning tops of all descrip- 
tions — the most approved and expensive being fashioned by 
William Kellogg, — "jumping frog," walking on the hands 
with the heels in the air, and other diversions, made Jack 
anything but a dull boy. John Rankin took first distinction 
in putting a top to sleep ; Steve Jewett was most skilKul at 
marbles; little Tom Wright excelled at the bat; Jim Metts 
jumped, without running, and turned a somersault in the 
air ; he also walked on his hands a whole block, followed on 
foot by an admiring throng ; and Richard Moore's wonderful 
skill sent a clamshell straight over St. James' Church tower. 

Periodically, good Miss Urquhart, who lived in the house 
now Doctor Thomas' office, mildly expostulated when the 
clamor became unbearable ; and "Sounders," who drove their 
carts full of ground peas to market, complained that the leak- 
age in passing the school caused by large stones placed in the 
cart ruts by the boys, was intolerable. These were minor 
incidents of constant recurrence ; but when the old boy him- 
self marked time vsdth his big brass hand bell, in the chorus of 


"Scotland's Burning," and the town bell in the market house 
brought the Howard Eelief with their hand engine and Cap- 
tain Griffith with his "Hook and Ladder," our joy was un- 

Jewett's boys generally turned out well; many became 
eminent in their professions. One of the most studious, dig- 
nified boys was Piatt Dickinson Walker, forecasting his ele- 
vation to the Supreme Court Bench. 

Only two of the forty boys (which was the numerical limit) 
became a reproach to the school ; neither was a fit associate, 
and both were finally expelled. One became a horse thief, 
and the other a murderer ; both were outlawed. In my youth 
they were held up to me by my parents as horrid examples 
of total depravity, in striking contrast with the shining 
virtues of our neighbors, the C alder boys, whose footsteps I 
have always endeavored to follow. 

A system of monitors was a part of Mr. Jewett's method of 
discipline. At first, in the old school, these very brilliant 
examples of his favor were privileged to fire the stove, sweep 
the room, bring in water, and to take a half holiday on Fri- 
day ; but later on, when one of their five senses was requisi- 
tioned on certain occasions, this offensive espionage fell into 

Mr. Jewett always wore rubber shoes, which enabled him 
to steal with catlike tread upon an unsuspecting culprit 
absorbed in the drawing of a caricature, who gave a yell of 
terror when his ear was suddenly twisted in a way we de- 

The recitation-room floggings were generally severe and 
particularly cruel, and it was sometimes necessary for a vic- 
tim of Mr. Jewett's wrath to subsist from a plate on the 
mantelpiece for a day or two afterwards. To his credit, how- 
ever, there was no leniency shown to his four nephews, who 
had all "a hard road to travel" ; and Bradley Jewett, a bright 
and genial pupil, was often imposed upon in order to exhibit 
the discipline of the Academy. On one occasion "Brad'* 
created a sensation by exhibiting a brass pistol, with which he 


declared lie would shoot his uncle, but it was found that the 
lock was broken, and this bloodthirsty design came to naught. 

Eating during school hours was strictly forbidden; but 
George Copes managed to smuggle a pie into his desk at 
frequent intervals, which he bartered for sundry information 
about the next lesson, as he was generally incapable of any 
severe intellectual exercise, and "Solomon's dog did not bark 
himself to death," as Galloway said, trying to keep George 
out of the Temple of Wisdom. 

Archie Worth, beloved by all, was so pestered by his hun- 
gry associates while he ate his pie at recess, that he had to 
climb the gatepost to enjoy his repast in peace. From that 
day he was known as " 'Tato Pie." Years afterwards, while 
he was limping along the roadside, at the battle of Benton- 
ville, some strange troops passed him, and one of them ex- 
claimed, "Well, if there ain't old 'Tato Pie from Wilming- 

Wednesday was given up to lessons and exhibitions in dec- 
lamation. Bob McEee, in "Robert Emmett's Defense," and 
Eugene Martin, in "The Sailor Boy's Dream," headed the 
list and melted us to tears.'TtDlarence Martin, Junius Davis, 
Gilbert and Fred Kidder, Alexander and John London, Cecil 
Fleming, Duncan and Richard Moore, Piatt D. Walker, John 
D. Barry, John VanBokkelen, Willie Gus Wright, Levin 
Lane, Griffith McRee, John Rankin, Tom Meares, Sam 
Peterson, Sonny West, Eddie and Tom DeRosset, Stephen 
and Willie Jewett, Willie Meares, Willie Lord, and others 
not now recalled, gave promise of undying fame, in their 
fervid renditions of "Sennacherib," "Marco Bozzaris," Pat- 
rick Henry's "Liberty or Death," Mark Antony's Oration 
over Caesar's Dead Body, "Kosciusko," "The Burial of Sir 
John Moore," "Hamlet's Soliloquy," and "Hohenlinden" 
(alas! so few survive), and John Walker and big Tom 
Wright divided honors on the immortal "Casabianca." 
Henry Latimer and the writer were "tied" on the same 
speech, and when the judge. Colonel Hall, decided in the for- 


mer's favor, the unsuccessful contestant withdrew perma- 
nently from the arena. 

Our teacher endeavored to impress upon our minds, by re- 
peated admonitions, the importance of a graceful pose and 
bearing upon the platform. The declaimers were required 
to bow to the preceptor and to the audience before proceeding 
with their speeches. Some of these motions were very un- 
graceful, and others were positively disgraceful. Willie 
Martin made a dab at it like the forward movement of a 
muscovy duck; whereupon, Mr. Jewett admonished him and 
directed him to watch Mr. Edward Everett on the occasion 
of his forthcoming eulogy of Washington, which was the talk 
of the town. On the following Wednesday Willie was called 
to the stage, to imitate the great speaker in his bow to his 
audience, which was done with an expression of intense pain 
in his stomach, to the great delight and derision of the whole 

One of the most memorable exploits of our school days was 
that of Walter MacEae, who came with his brother Eoderick 
to the old school near "The Castle." He had the most reten- 
tive memory I ever knew, and once when a column of the 
Daily Journal, edited by James Fulton, which usually con- 
tained (to us) the dry est sort of political twaddle, was read 
over to him, he repeated it "sight unseen," almost verbatim, 
to our admiring audience. Many years after, we belonged to 
a local debating society, and on one occasion MacRae was 
obliged to comply with his appointment as the principal 
speaker. Picking up a book from the table, he gave us the 
finest selection of the season. At its conclusion we took the 
volume from his hands and found it to be a child's spelling 
book. He had recited one of Rufus Choate's celebrated 

Some of the pupils, mere lads at the commencement of 
hostilities, fell in battle for the Lost Cause; others have 
dropped by the wayside in the journey of life, and only a few 
survive, of whom we recall the names and well-remembered 


faces of Eugene S. Martin, Leighton Boone, Thos. H. 
Wright, Junius Davis, Gilbert P. Kidder, Richard Moore, 
Thomas D. Meares, John London, George G. Thomas, Jordan 
Thomas, Piatt D. Walker, J. T. Rankin, K B. Rankin, A. C. 
Worth, W. E. Worth, John E. Shackelford, John T. North- 
rop, George R. French, James I. Metts, A. G. Latta, John B. 
Lord, Stephen Jewett, R. B. Jewett, Henry G. Latimer, John 
M. Walker. The roll of living and dead is an honorable one, 
and notwithstanding unpleasant recollections by some vpho 
were harshly treated, reflects honor upon the memory of him 
who trained them. And he was always proud of his boys; 
and well he might be, for it is a well established fact that 
Mr. Jewett's pupils were thoroughly prepared for college in 
all the necessary branches of their matriculation ; and that 
many who were unable, by the intervention of the war, to 
enter college, owed their comparative success in life largely 
to the early mental training under that able preceptor. 

A characteristic incident occurred in St. John's Lodge of 
Masons a short time before Mr. Jewett's death. A member 
of the fellowcraft had just been raised to the sublime degree 
of Master Mason, after a highly creditable examination, dur- 
ing which he exemplified the work of three degrees with re- 
markable accuracy, when Mr. Jewett arose, and with ap- 
parent pride and emotion expressed his profound satisfaction, 
remarking that the younger brother had been his pupil for 
four years prior to the War between the States. 

He was most cultivated and refined in his social inter- 
course, which was characterized by an urbanity entirely at 
variance with his professional habit. 

His estimable wife died some years before him, leaving an 
only daughter who was at the close of the war a beautiful and 
accomplished young lady. Miss Ella married Lieutenant 
Crosley, of the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, but she died 
long since, without issue. 

For several decades before the war Fort Johnston was 
garrisoned, and the many officers of the Army quartered 
there added greatly to the social life of the lower Cape Fear. 


At that period Smithville, being so easily accessible by 
steamer, was the favorite summer resort of Wilmington fami- 
lies; and there the belles and epauletted beaux found con- 
genial pastime, as described by Mr. Jewett in the following 
lines : 

The Wayfaeer^s Adieu. 

Farewell! dear Smithville! from thy pleasant halls 

I haste reluctant whither duty calls: 

But for a moment, let me linger here 

To trace a grateful word, and drop a tear. 

For who e'er left thy hospitable shore 

And blest and wept thee not forever more? 

If rash ambition tempts me to aspire 

To seize the poet's pen, without his fire, 

And, all unskillful, venture to rehearse 

Thy lofty virtues in heroic verse. 

Appear, O, Muse propitious, and supply 

Such words and thoughts as fit the purpose high. 

All hail! great Smithville! great in origin: 

For did not Smith thy great career begin? 

Great in thy old renown, when heroes bore 

Their martial honors up and down thy shore, 

And, strutting stiff, in yellow epaulettes. 

Lured many a fair one to their gaudy nets. 

Great in thy battlefield, our garrison. 

Where Cupid's contests still are lost and won; 

Great, in the outspread beauty of thy bay. 

Great, in the tiny fleets that on it play. 

Great, in thy sunshine; in thy moonlight, great. 

Great, in thy risings and thy settings, late, 

Great, in thy sandy streets, and spreading shades, 

Great, in fandangoes, frolics and charades. 

Great, in thy pig-fish, oysters, trout, and clams. 

Great, in thy raging tempests, great in calms. 

Great, in thy tete-a-tetes at dewy e'en. 

And great. Ah! very great, in crinoline. 

What visions rise, what memories crowd around 

My toiling pen at that suggestive sound! 

But thickest cluster in the haunts of song. 

Where crinolines, in scores, are wont to throng. 

And thou! oh, sacred temple of The Nine, 

Where wit and beauty spread their chains divine, 

How shall I style thee? for thy noble name 

Hath not been soiled by lips of common fame. 

They call thee "cottage," but that name I scout, 

And here forever blot the scandal out. 


No name plebeian, couched in vulgar words, 
Is thy true title: Thou'rt a "House of Lords." 
What though thou standest on Columbia's soil, 
Her sons would scorn thy regal halls to spoil; 
Here, noble lords and beauteous ladies meet. 
And their fair Queen with loyal homage greet: 
Here, too, 'twas mine to fill an humble place, 
And taste, full oft, the sweets of royal grace. 
Methinks I see thee as I oft have seen, 
Spangled with beauty, set in crinoline. 
The fair Columbia stands with stately grace; 
Benignant smiles illume her queenly face. 
Victoria's throne was bootless to confer 
Imperial dignity on such as her. 
And yet she stooped— what folly to record— 
The royal lady stooped— to wed a Lord. 
Then we turn to the court; and first observe 
The lady yonder, with the restless nerve; 
"A female archer": mark her pungent wit, 
In random shots, regardless whom they hit- 
But most she loves to shoot the pedagogues. 
As wanton boys, for pastime, pelt the frogs. 
In youth she wore the honored name of Brown; 
"My name," sighed she, "is but a common noun." 

A son of science, with no heart of stone, 

O'erheard her plaint, and offered her his own. 

So wit and genius she vouchsafed to link 

Forever with the rare name of Frink. 

On yonder face, so beautiful to view. 

How blend the lily's with the rose's hue; 

Her flashing eye, in jetty radiance burns, 

And almost scorches him on whom it turns. 

Forth fly thy arrowy missiles; maid, beware, 

Lest you should pierce the heart you mean to spare. 

You may not dream that flickering hopes and fears 

Hang trembling on a glance of Addie Meares. 

Upon that ample brow, where jeweled thought 

Is fashioned, and with graceful polish wrought, 

O'erhangs an eye of rare intelligence, 

Whose lightest glance reveals the solid sense. 

Deepest and dark, with grave and pensive ray, 

Save when the radiant smiles around it play. 

Who does not see through the clear, pure light 

That ever guides the steps of Anna (W) right? 

My eager pen, impatient to advance. 

Compels me hence to take a hastier glance, 

And scatter gems along the glowing line. 

More brilliant than adorn Golconda's mine, 


Brown, Rankin, Cowan, Walker, Prioleau, 

Shall in one brilliant constellation glow, 

I gaze bedazzled, yet delight me still 

My modest "Valley" and the favorite "Hill" (Miss Lossie) 

But can we, Muse, the starry sphere portray. 

By painting separate every golden ray? 

Then let my pen this endless task resign. 

And bid our stars in blended glory shine. 

But hark! from rosy lips there pour along 

The echoing walls the mingled streams of song. 

Quick to the soul the conquering floods make way 

And song and beauty hold divinest sway. 

Apollo could but listen, gaze, admire. 

And hate, henceforth, his goddess and his lyre. 

Oh sacred cherished spot! to yield thee up 

Is gall and wormwood in my parting cup. 

Farewell, farewell! may wintry winds 

Strain gentle on thy braces and thy pins, 

May no rude storm unroof thee and expose 

Thy naked ribs to their remorseless blows. 

May time and whitewash still thy years prolong 

To shelter beauty, genius, worth, and song. 

Farewell, ye summer pleasures, bright and brief, 

That fade and fall before the early leaf; 

With summer suns thy leaves again return. 

The life that bare you, there may fill an urn. 

Farewell, ye warblers, matrons, maidens, all. 

Whose forms are wont to grace our festive hall. 

Farewell! May heaven, his sweetest peace diffuse 

Through each pure breast as sink the gentle dews. 

'Neath all his shielding aegis may you rest, 

With life, health, love, and friendship blest. 

And when from raging summer's heats 

Impelled again to flee. 

You grace once more the cool retreats, 

May I be there to see. 


Among the many great men who have adorned the life of 
our community and contributed to the prosperity of this 
section of the State, no one has surpassed in usefulness Ed- 
ward B. Dudley. 

On the occasion of his death, Eobert H. Cowan was selected 
by the citizens of Wilmington to deliver an address com- 
memorative of his life and character, and performed that 


public service on the eighth day of !N"oveinber, 1855. From 
Colonel Cowan's address we learn that Governor Dudley was 
born in Onslow County, December 15, 1789, and died in Wil- 
mington on the 30th of October, 1855. When twenty-one 
years of age he represented Onslow in the House of Commons, 
and in 1813 and 1814 in the Senate. During the war with 
England he came to Wilmington, the second in command of 
the regiment of volunteers who flocked from the neighboring 
counties to repel threatened British invasion. In 1815 he 
removed to Wilmington, and in 1816 and 1817 he represented 
the town of Wilmingi:on in the House of Commons. In poli- 
tics he was a Republican — as distinguished from the Federal- 
ists. Governor Holmes, who was the representative of the 
District in Congress, having died, in I^^ovember, 1829, Mr. 
Dudley was elected to fill the vacancy. At that time he was a 
Jackson man ; but not being satisfied with the policy of the 
administration, in Congress he attached himself to the oppo- 
sition, and then declined reelection, saying, "I cannot, fellow 
citizens, forego my own opinion for that of any man. I ac- 
knowledge no master but the laws and duty — no party but 
the interests of my country." He was, more than any other 
man, the father of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad and 
was its president until elected Governor, in 1836, the first 
governor chosen by the people — and doubtless selected be- 
cause of his advocacy of internal improvements. "He pos- 
sessed administrative ability of a very rare order ; and his ad- 
ministration as governor was one of the most efficient and 
practically useful which !N"orth Carolina has ever known" — 
and moreover "his hospitality was dispensed so liberally, so 
graciously, and with such a warm and open heart, that it will 
long be remembered by all who had occasion to visit the Capi- 
tal while he occupied the Executive Mansion. * * * 
His whole energies were given to the cause of internal im- 
provements, for the development of the resources of Worth 
Carolina, and for the building up of her commercial greatness. 
* * * The completion of a liberal system of internal im- 


provements and the establishment of a permanent system 
of common schools formed the highest object of his ambition. 
His career proves that he is well entitled to the proud name of 
Father of Internal Improvements in North Carolina. He was 
far in advance of his age ; but he lived to see the State arouse 
from her lethargy and adopt the measures he had forecast 
with sagacity and enlarged and enlightened patriotism." 

Addressing the stockholders of the Wilmington and Weldon 
Eailroad Company, Colonel Cowan said: "You must re- 
member that yours was the pioneer work in North Carolina, 
that it was an experiment, that it was undertaken without 
sufficient means, that it was condemned beforehand as a 
failure, that it encountered troubles, trials, difficulties of the 
most extraordinary character; that nothing but the most in- 
domitable energy, the most liberal enterprise, the most un- 
ceasing patience, the most determined spirit of perseverance, 
could have enabled it to surmount those difficulties. Governor 
Dudley brought all of these qualifications to the task and 
commanded the success which he so eminently deserved. He 
subscribed a very large portion of his large estate to its com- 
pletion. He devoted all his time, all his talents, and all his 
energies, and that too at an immense loss from the neglect 
of his private interests, to put it into successful operation. 
Nor did his services, nor his personal sacrifices stop there. 
When your offices, your warehouses and your workshops, and 
all of your machinery which was not then in actual use, were 
laid in ruins by the terrible fire of 1843 ; when a heap of 
smouldering embers marked the spot where all of your pos- 
sessions in Wilmington the day before had stood ; when your 
most ardent friends had begun to despair; when your own 
merchants had refused to credit you, and, regarded merely 
from a business point of view, had justly refused, because 
they had already extended their confidence beyond the limits 
of prudence; when your long sinking credit was at last de- 
stroyed and your failure seemed inevitable — Governor Dud- 
ley came forward and pledged the whole of his private estate 
as your security, and thus, with renewed confidence in your 


solvency you were enabled to go on to that complete success 
which awaited you entirely through his exertions." 

Such was the character of the man — the man of generous 
sentiments, of high courtesy, of true courage. He set a noble 
example, was eminent in all the practical departments of 
life, and was eminently good in all of his social relations. 
Thus his death was mourned as a general loss, and his 
memory was treasured by the people of Wilmington. 


Col. James G. Burr, one of our oldest and most highly 
esteemed citizens, died ITovember 13, 1898, aged 80 years. 

He was born in Wilmington and was prominent in all of 
its stirring events. For many years he was cashier of the 
Bank of Cape Fear. During the War between the States, 
he was colonel of the regiment of Home Guards. After the 
war he resumed his profession as a banker. Later, he was 
assistant postmaster of Wilmington under O. G. Parsley, 
Esq., during Cleveland's administration. 

Colonel Burr, like his brother Talcott, had fine literary 
attainments, and possessed a discriminating mind, together 
with an admirable judgment of men. He was much in- 
terested in local history and was regarded as an authority 
with reference to important dates and deeds on the Cape 
Fear. He wrote with precision and elegance, and contrib- 
uted many interesting narratives to the local press over his 
nom de plume, "Senex." 

Associated all through life with our leading citizens, he 
knew them well, and his sketches, valuable for their accuracy, 
have served to rescue from oblivion the memory of many 
who, in their day, adorned our community. 

Attracted by mutual interest in the tales and traditions of 
the Cape Fear, many years before his death, we became de- 
voted friends; and, in recognition of my high regard for 
him, he voluntarily made over to me all his manuscripts and 
publications, of which he had a large accumulation. A few 


weeks before his last illness, however, he came to my office 
and confided to me that he had destroyed all his manuscripts. 

He explained that he had been prevailed upon to republish 
the distressing story of the desecration of the Holy Sacra- 
ment by a party of twelve local debauchees in the early days 
of the town, and that he had been reproached repeatedly that 
morning by some descendants of those involved in that hor- 
rible affair; that he had then returned home, and made a 
bonfire in his backyard of all the manuscripts which he had 
promised to leave me. 

The condensation of his sketch of the Thalian Association, 
and the article on Johnson Hooper and the British Consul 
may serve to keep his memory green. 


In 1871 Col. James G. Burr performed a grateful service 
to the community by publishing a pamphlet of fifty pages 
giving an account of the Thalian Association, together with 
sketches of many of its members, from which the following 
has been condensed. 

When, during the French and Indian War, Col. James 
Innes was in command of all the Colonial forces in Vir- 
ginia, he made his will, in which he devised a large part of his 
estate, after the death of his wife, for the use of a free school 
for the benefit of the youth of ISTorth Carolina. A quarter 
of a century later the legislature appointed trustees of "Innes 
Academy," and in 1788 subscriptions were taken up among 
the citizens, and the three lots next north of Princess between 
Third and Fourth Streets were secured, and subsequently, 
by way of confirming the title, were purchased from the 
University "as escheated property of Michael Higgins, one 
of the original settlers of the town of Wilmington."^ 

Before the completion of the academy building a theatrical 
corps had been organized in Wilmington, and an arrangement 
had been made between them and the trustees of the aca- 

>The investigations of W. B. McKoy, Esq., show that this property was 
escheated, not because it had belonged to Higgins, but to two Tories. 


demy for the lower part of the huilding to be fitted up and 
used exclusively as a theatre; and a perpetual lease was 
made, conformably, to the Thalian Association. The build- 
ing was erected about the year 1800, when the town could 
boast of hardly more than 1,500 inhabitants. Years after- 
wards, the academy fell into ruin and was not used for 
educational purposes. The Thalian Association, however, 
continued to hold possession. Its claim was resisted by the 
University, and by way of compromise, the property was 
sold and purchased by the town, it being agreed that half the 
purchase money should be applied to the erection of a build- 
ing with suitable rooms for theatrical performances. 

Of the members of the first Thalian Association, the name 
of Col. Archibald McNiell alone has been preserved. He was 
the star performer, and in his delineation of the character 
of Hamlet very few professional actors could excel him. 

After some years a second Thalian Association was organ- 
ized, among the members being Edward B. Dudley, William 
B. Meares, Chas. J. Wright, James S. Green, William M. 
Green, Julius H. Walker, William C. Lord, James Telfair, 
Charles L. Adams, Dr. James F. McEee, Col. John D. Jones, 
Kobert Kankin, William H. Halsey, Thomas Loring, John 
Cowan, and others not now remembered. 

Of Governor Dudley mention is elsewhere made. Mr. 
Meares was a lawyer of commanding influence, at one time 
coming within one vote of being elected to the Senate of the 
United States ; but, unhappily, he died suddenly, while yet in 
the full maturity of his powers. 

Charles J. Wright was an actor by intuition. He strode 
the boards with a majesty and grace that Cooper or Cook 
might have envied in their palmiest days. He was the 
eldest son of Judge J. G. Wright, and a lawyer, but became 
president of the Wilmington branch of the Bank of the 
State. His son, Lieut. William Henry Wright, graduated 
at the head of his class at West Point, Beauregard being next, 
and became eminent as an officer of the Engineer Corps. 

Julius Walker was an actor of extraordinary merit. He 


had great fondness for the drama, and he had few equals as 
an amateur performer. 

James S- Green, the treasurer of the Wilmington and Wel- 
don Kailroad Company from its organization till his death, 
in 1862, was unequaled as a comedian. He was an ad- 
mirable type of the Cape Fear gentleman of the olden time ; 
with a fund of anecdote and wit ; as a story-teller he was un- 
rivaled. Passionately fond of music, he sang the plaintive 
ballads of the old days with great feeling and expression. 

Col. John D. Jones excelled in the character of Hamlet. 
Eeared to the practice of the law, he early abandoned it for 
the more genial pursuits of literature and agriculture. He 
was Speaker of the House of Commons, and presided with 
great ability. Later, he was Naval officer of the port and 
president of the Bank of Cape Fear. 

Dr. James F. McRee was one of the foremost men in hia 
profession, in this or any other State; a most successful 
practitioner and a bold and brilliant operator. He had great 
scholarly attainments, was fond of the classics, wrote with 
ease and elegance, was equally at home in the researches of 
philosophy and the mazes of metaphysics, the natural sciences, 
and the polite literature of the day. 

William M. Green, later Bishop of Mississippi, remark- 
able for intelligence, suavity of manner, and for a beauty 
somewhat feminine, and David M. Miller, father of the 
late lamented Col. James T. Miller, played with success 
the role of female characters. 

William C. Lord sustained the role of the sentimental 
gentleman with great dignity and propriety. He was one of 
nature's noblemen. 

John Cowan was admirable in genteel comedy. His fine 
figure, graceful manner, and correct gesticulations appeared 
to great advantage on the stage. He was eldest son of Col. 
Thomas Cowan, one of the old settlers of the town, and was 
one of the handsomest men of the day. He became cashier 
of the Bank of the State. 

William H. Halsey frequently appeared on the stage and 


was as natural as life. He was prominent in his profession, 
and left the reputation of a lawyer of great learning. 

Charles L. Adams played well his part among the choice 
spirits of those days and added much to the success of their 
representations by his versatility of talent, knowledge of 
scenic effects, and unfailing good humor. 

Thomas Loring was an excellent performer in the higher 
walks of tragedy. He had a face of marked expression, a 
voice deep-chested and sonorous, and in his rendition of the 
characters of Shylock and of the Duhe of Gloucester there was 
an earnestness and a passion not easily forgotten. Mr. 
Loring was one of the best known editors in the State. 

After a most successful existence of some years this organ- 
ization ceased, but soon the Association was revived by an- 
other set of aspirants for the buskin who did not in point of 
talent disgrace their predecessors. 

Among them were Joseph A. Hill, Dr. Thomas H. Wright, 
Robert H. Cowan, Dr. James H. Dickson, Dr. John Hill, 
Lawrence D. Dorsey, John Nutt Brown, and many others. 
They played with very great success. 

Joseph A. Hill shone on the mimic stage, as he did upon 
the actual stage of life, with unfailing lustre. A son of Wil- 
liam H. Hill and a grandson of John Ashe, he had no rival 
of his age as a debater and orator, and no superior of any age 
in North Carolina. 

Dr. Thomas H. Wright played female characters with 
great success. He became president of the Bank of Cape 

Robert H. Cowan was a very popular member of the Asso- 
ciation and bore a prominent part in all their representations. 
After preparing for the law, he abandoned it for agricul- 

Dr. James H. Dickson was a prominent member of the 
Association and appeared frequently upon the stage and was 
regarded as an excellent performer. Embracing the profes- 
sion of medicine, he sprang at once into a large and lucrative 
practice. He possessed great power — ^was a student all his 


life, a lover of books and a thinker, a man of scholarly attain- 
ment and fond of scientific study. He fell at his post of 
duty, one of the earliest victims of the fearful epidemic 
of 1862. 

Dr. John Hill frequently appeared upon the boards, al- 
ways in genteel comedy, and as the gentleman of the piece, 
which harmonized well with his graceful figure and easy 
manner. He was a remarkably handsome man. Endowed 
with versatile talents, he equally graced the stage and the 
drawing room. While eminent as a physician, he achieved 
a particular fame for his literary accomplishments. He be- 
came president of the Bank of Cape Fear, and was known as 
Dr. John "Bank" Hill — to distinguish him from his kinsman. 
Dr. John H. Hill. 

Eventually this Association, like its predecessor, dissolved, 
but there came along a strolling company of actors who 
leased the theatre for two or three seasons, and after their 
departure, interest in theatricals having revived, a third or- 
ganization was formed. 

The members of the new Association well sustained the 
reputation of the former players. For a long time they 
offered the only source of amusement to the public, and 
crowded houses always greeted their performances. On the 
list of members we find the names of William Cameron, 
John S. James, L. H. Marsteller, Bela H. Jacobs, P. W. Fan- 
ning, John MacEae, Augustus Ramousin, Joshua James, E. 
H. Wingate, J. F. Gianople, J. P. Brownlow, A. A. Brown, J. 
McColl, W. E. Blaney, E. Withington, Daniel Sherwood, C. 
Manning, Wm. Lowry, W. IT. Peden, Dr. W. J. Price, R. J. 
Dorsey, Daniel Dickson, Roger Moore, W. A. AUen. 

William Cameron was a natural born actor, possessing 
great versatility of talents, and he was passionately fond of 
theatrical amusements. Later in life, he removed to the 

Lewis H. Marsteller, a descendant of CoL Lewis D. Mars- 
teller, distinguished in the Revolution and one of the pall- 
bearers of General Washington, at an early age came to Wil- 


mington from Virginia. He played the sentimental gentle- 
man, and was easy and natural on the stage. He was at one 
time the most popular man in the county and was never de- 
feated before the people He was collector of customs and 
clerk of the court. 

Price, Jacobs, Wingate, Brown, Moore, Withington, Ra- 
mousin, Gianople, Brownlow and Dickson were all good 
actors and reflected credit on the Association. 

There were but few better amateur performers than John 
S. James. His conception and delineation of the powerfully 
drawn character of Pescara in The Apostate, equaled and 
in many instances surpassed the best efforts of celebrated 
performers. P. W. Fanning played the old man with such 
success that he is still remembered by the play-going people of 
those days as that "good old man," while Sherwood, with his 
fine figure and charming voice, bore off the palm in genteel 

This Association after a time met the fate of its predeces- 
sors, and the theatre remained closed until about the year 
1846, when the fourth and last Association was organized. 
Its first president was Col. James T. Miller ; Daniel MacRae 
was secretary and treasurer ; S. R. Ford, stage manager, and 
Dr. W. W. Harriss, prompter. On the roll of members were 
the names of Thomas Sanford, William Hill, Adam Empie, 
E. D. Hall, J. G. Burr, E. A. Gushing, John C. MacRae, 
John R. Reston, John J. Hedrick, T. Burr, jr., A. O. Brad- 
ley, John Walker, W. W. Harriss, J. T. Watts, J. G. Green, 
W. H. Lippitt, John L. Meares, D. MacRae, John Cowan, J. 
J. Lippitt, George Harriss, M. London, W. A. Burr, R. H. 
Cowan, H. W. Burgwyn, H. P. Russell, E. Cantwell, J. B. 
Russell, W. B. Meares, L. H. Pierce, W. D. Cowan, G. L. 
Dudley, R. F. Langdon, E. A. Keith, F. IT. Waddell, J. S. 
Williams, Robert Lindsay, Wilkes Morris, Eli W. Hall, W. 
M. Harris, S. R. Ford, J. T. Miller, A. Martin, S. Jewett, A. 
H. Van Bokkelen, T. C. Mcllhenny, F. J. Lord, J. A. Baker, 
A. M. Waddell, C. D. Myers, F. D. Poisson, J. H. Planner, 
DuBrutz Cutlar, E. Savage, Robert Strange, Wm. Reston, J. 


E, London, George Myers, Henry Savage, James A. Wright, 
O. S. Baldwin, L. H. DeKosset, J. Hill Wright. 

Of the merits of this company, says Colonel Burr, it may 
not be proper for us to speak, as so many of its members are 
still living in our midst — suffice it to say that in ability and 
histrionic talent it was fully up to the standard of the pre- 
ceding associations. After much labor and expense in re- 
pairing the building, many delays, disappointments, and dis- 
couragements, the opening night at length arrived. The 
play was The Lady of Lyons, the afterpiece 'Tis All a Farce, 
with the following cast of characters : 

The Lady of Lyons. 

Claud Melnotte William Hill 

Beauseant A. O. Bradley 

Olavis T. Burr, jr. 

Colonel Dumas R. Lindsay 

Jaspar John Walker 

Mons Deschapelles E. A. Keith 

Landlord George Harris 

First Officer Donald MacRae 

Second Officer G. L. Dudley 

Madame Deschapelles W. B. Meares 

Pauline J. T. Watts 

Widow Melnotte J. J. Lippitt 

'Tis All a Farce. 

Numpo E. D. Hall 

Belgardo A. Empie 

Don Gortes M. London 

Don Testy E. A. Gushing 

Carolina J. J. Hedrick 

The theatre was filled to its utmost capacity with a bril- 
liant and excited audience, for to add to the interest of the 
occasion the names of the debutants of popular favor had 
been kept a profound secret. There was not one among 
them who had ever appeared in front of the footlights, and the 
excitement and apprehension, therefore, behind the scenes, 
incident to a first appearance, can only be appreciated by 
those who have undergone a similar ordeal. The perform- 
ance was a great success, each actor was perfect in his part 
and remarkably correct in the delineation of the character 


assumed. The machinery of the stage, that most vital ad- 
junct to the success of all theatrical exhibitions, was admi- 
rably managed, and the applause, long and continued at the 
close of the performance, testified in language too plain to be 
misunderstood the hearty approval of the delighted audience. 
Many representations followed with equal success, and the 
Association soon became a permanent institution Allied, as 
nearly all its members were to the entire community, by the 
ties of consanguinity or business relations, it was felt that 
their characters were sufScient guaranty that nothing would 
be presented that would shock the sensibility of the modest or 
wound the piety of the devout. The Association modestly but 
confidently appealed to the public for generous support. 
Need we say how such an appeal was responded to by a Wil- 
mington audience ? Their well known liberality was be- 
stowed with no niggard hand, and the Association flourished 
beyond measure and became immensely popular. 

The great ability displayed by the members of this last As- 
sociation was fully recognized tMcl appreciated by all classes 
of society, but as most of them are still living and are resi- 
dents of our city, it would be rather indelicate to particular- 
ize, and we can therefore only refer to them in general 
terms of commendation ; but, as memory brings up the van- 
ished past and the virtues of the departed, we may surely 
pause, if but for a moment, to lay a few mosses upon the 
mounds of some of those who joined with us in sportive glee 
and shared alike our sorrows and our joys. 

James T. Miller, the first president of the Association, was 
very active and instrumental in perfecting the organization, 
but never appeared upon the stage. He took great interest 
in its success and was always very busy behind the scenes 
during every performance. Mr. Miller became quite promi- 
nent as a party leader, served in the House of Commons, was 
mayor of the town and also Chairman of the Court of Pleas 
and Quarter Sessions, and from 1854 till his death was 
collector of customs. Poor Miller ! We miss thy familiar 
form, thy pleasant greeting, thy hearty laugh, thy harmless 


idiosyncrasies; we miss thee from the favorite spots where 
friends did mostly congregate to while away the time in 
pleasant converse and innocent amusement, and thou, the 
centre of attraction, making all merry with thy playful hu- 
mor. In the full vigor of stalwart manhood. Miller was 
struck down by the fearful pestilence of 1862, and our city 
mourned the loss of a most useful, most popular, and most 
estimable citizen. 

Eli W. Hall was an admirable light comedian, a capital 
representative of humorous characters and an actor of great 
promise and versatility of talent. He sometimes essayed the 
higher walks of tragedy, commanding the attention of the 
audience by the power of his representations. He became a 
lawyer and commanded an extensive practice. He was 
elected to the Senate in 1860, 1862, and again in 1864, and 
won fame in the legislative halls as a ready and able debater. 
He possessed a brilliant imagination and a vivid fancy with a 
wonderful command of language, and few men could address 
a popular assembly with m™ eloquence and effect. He was 
a courteous, honorable, well-read gentleman, of strict integ- 
rity, entirely devoid of ostentation or egotism, and justly 
popular in all classes of society. 

Thomas Sanford was the oldest member of the Association, 
and one of the best amateur performers that ever appeared in 
Wilmington. He was entirely at home upon the stage; his 
style was easy, graceful, and natural, and his voice, of re- 
markable power and compass, never failed him under 
any circumstances. He had had much experience in theatri- 
cals, for in early youth he was a member of a Thespian Corps 
in Philadelphia. Edwin Eorrest, the eminent tragedian, 
was also a member of the same company, and at that time 
Sanford was regarded as the better actor of the two. He was 
the star of the Association, always appeared in leading 
characters, and his appearance in any character and on any 
occasion was always a success. 

Talcott Burr, jr., not only excelled in genteel comedy but 
was most excellent in the higher branches of dramatic art. 


Gifted with a strong and discriminating mind, which exten- 
sive reading had highly improved and cultivated, he at first 
devoted himself to the practice of law, but finding it unsuited 
to his taste adopted the profession of a public journalist, in 
which so many men have risen to eminence and usefulness. 
John R. Reston — who does not remember and who did not 
love John Eeston ? One of the most amiable, kindhearted, 
generous beings that ever lived; guileless as a child, a crea- 
ture of impulse and of the most unsuspecting generosity; a 
friend to every one and an enemy only to himself, he was 
never so happy as when engaged in some disinterested act of 
kindness or ministering to the pleasure of others. 

ISTature had been lavish in her gifts to him. 'No one could 
be in his company, for however short a time, without feeling 
the influence of his rich and unctions humor, his genial bon- 
homie, his entire unselfishness, and not admire, also, the ex- 
hibition of that virtue which so few of us possess, the desire 
to avoid, even in the slightest degree, anything that might 
give pain to others. He had a fine ear for music and sang 
with wonderful sweetness and expression ; his voice was not 
cultivated, but his tone was singularly soft and perfect, like 
the mournful sighing of the breeze through the lofty pines 
of the forest. We were boys together, and we knew him 
well; "a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy, whose 
flashes of merriment were wont to set the table on a roar." 
Green be the turf above and lightly may it rest upon him, 
for the earth covers not a heart more generous nor one more 
entirely unselfish. 

Dr. Alfred O. Bradley displayed histrionic talent of a very 
high order. He was inimitable as Sir Able Handy j most 
excellent as Max HarJcaway, in London Assurance, and 
as Beauseant in the Lady of Lyons was decidedly the best 
representative of that character we have ever seen on any 
stage. In the beautiful play. Feudal Times, he appeared 
as Lord Angus, a fiery representative of the haughty Douglas, 
and played it with vehemence and power that astonished 
all who witnessed the performance. 


James A. Wright was one of the most youthful members 
of the Association, and his career upon the stage, though very 
brief, was full of promise. Few men in our State — few men 
in any State of his age — had brighter prospects of a more 
brilliant future. Descended from one of the oldest and most 
influential families on the Cape Fear, he inherited in large de- 
gree the virtues for which they have always been so justly 
distinguished. Nature had been kind to him, and education 
had given polish and brilliancy to the jewels with which he 
was endowed and that adorned his character. But alas ! for 
human hopes and human calculations. The dark cloud of the 
War between the States, whose mutterings had been heard for 
years, at length burst suddenly upon us, and the State called 
upon her sons to go forth and battle for the right. He was 
among the first to obey the call, and at the head of his com- 
pany marched to Virginia to meet the hostile invaders, and at 
Mechanicsville, at the early age of twenty-six, he sealed his 
devotion to his country with his heart's blood. 

We have not the space to speak, as we would wish to do, 
of the merits of Gushing, Hill, Lippitt, Cowan, Pierce, Wad- 
dell, and S. Jewett. They played well their parts in the 
world's great drama, and "after life's fitful fever, they sleep 
well" in the vast and silent city of the dead. 

This Association continued to occupy and use the theatre 
building until the old building was sold, as already men- 
tioned. The authorities of the town had determined upon 
the erection of a city hall on the site of the old academy and 
purchased the property for that purpose. The Association 
received one-half of the purchase money. Thalian Hall was 
the result. Mr. Donald MacEae was at that time president of 
the Association, and to his energy, perseverance, and acknowl- 
edged business ability are we indebted for the beautiful thea- 
tre which reflects so much credit upon our city. The new 
building was leased by Mr. Marchant, a well-known theatrical 
manager, and opened to the public in October, 1859. The 
members of the Association had now grown older and were 
more averse to appearing upon the stage, and the organization 


found itself hampered with a heavy debt. Under all these cir- 
cumstances, a proposition was made to the authorities of the 
town that if they would assume the responsibility of the Asso- 
ciation, all their right, title, and interest in that part of the 
building used for theatrical purposes would be surrendered. 
This was acceded to — the transfers made in proper form — 
and the Wilmington Thalian Association as a theatrical or- 
ganization ceased to exist. 

However, it is worthy of note that before its dissolution, 
the Wilmington Thalian Association contributed a stone, in- 
scribed with its name, to be placed in the monument to George 
Washington in Washington City, and that stone, now im- 
bedded in the monument to the Father of his Country, per- 
petuates its memory. 


By James G. Burr. 

Like other communities, Wilmington had, in the long ago, 
many singular individuals whose idiosyncrasies would pro- 
voke a smile and attract attention. I can mention only a few. 
There was Dorsey, the rubicund-visaged landlord of the only 
inn the town could boast of, which was located on Front 
Street on the site since occupied by the Purcell House, where 
President Washington was entertained by the town authori- 
ties when on his visit to the South; McCarthy, a reckless, 
impulsive Irishman, who would contend vehemently with 
any one who would listen to him that there was a material 
difference in the expression, "McCarthy, come out," and 
"Come out, McCarthy"; Sir Charles J. Paschal, Baronet, 
his Britannic Majesty's Consul for iN'orth Carolina, who had 
been wounded in the throat at the Battle of Waterloo, which 
rendered his articulation so indistinct that he could scarcely 
be understood. Sir Charles was extremely fond of hunting, 
and to gratify his fancy in that respect, purchased the prop- 
erty on Wrightsville Sound now known as the Ellis place, 
and had every door and window shutter painted a fiery red 


color. He died here in 1834. There were Wm. C. Jackson, 
the silent man, who seldom smiled and was never known to 
laugh aloud, and who had not sufficient curiosity to visit 
the railroad when it was being built and died without ever 
having seen it; Peter Torlay, a mercurial Frenchman, who 
dealt in toys and drew customers to his shop by his skill on 
the violin, which he loved better than he did his wife; 
Jolly Marmijohn, who dealt in fruits and candies, and had 
a pretty daughter, and I know not which was the greater 
favorite with the boys, his sugarplums, or the little one 
with that naughty dimple in her cheek, those keen, bright, 
laughing eyes, and that wealth of soft, brown hair which 
shone like gold in the sunlight ; Manning, fresh from the 
Emerald Isle, with the richest brogue imaginable, but who 
prided himself upon his knowledge of the English language, 
and his ability to pronounce the "th" equal to any native. 
When asked to pronounce "Thurber," "Northrop" and "thun- 
der," he would shout out "Turber," ISTortrop" and "tunder," 
with the utmost self-complacency. I turn from these to refer 
for a moment only with just pride to a few "native and to 
the manner born," whose character and attainments would 
shed lustre upon any community. Those saintly men of God, 
Bishops Thomas F. Davis and William Mercer Green, around 
whose daily walk in life there breathed an atmosphere of 
holiness and love, and whose example adorned and beautified 
our common humanity ; Lieut. Wm. Henry Wright, one of the 
most accomplished civil engineers in the United States serv- 
ice, whose treatise on mortars is still recognized by the Engi- 
neer Corps as standard authority ; John A. Winslow, of Kear- 
sarge and Alabama fame; Archibald MacRae, whose supe- 
riority at his examination for admission into the ISTavy was 
so pronounced as to distance all competitors for the highest 
honors of his class ; Eobert Savage, of the same service, who 
was entitled to the first distinction, but lost it by a quibble; 
Wm. E. Boudinot, second to none of his compeers in practical 
seamanship and scientific attainments; Augustus Foster 



Lyde, whose talents were of the highest order, and who was 
the first clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
United States to offer himself as a missionary to China, but 
who died at an early age while busily engaged preparing for 
his mission to that then unknown field of labor. All these 
were natives of the town, then obscure, which has since be- 
come known as the City of Wilmington. 

As illustrative of the primitive habits of our people, and as 
an evidence also of their general good morals, I will state 
that the entire police force of the town, or town guard, as 
they were then called, consisted of six policemen, who were on 
duty only at night, and a constable. The late Maj. J. A. 
Lillington was town clerk, and the mention of his name re- 
calls to my mind a scene I witnessed (I will not say how many 
years ago) between him and some of the police force of the 
town. The Major was an uncommonly portly gentleman, 
and like the famed John Gilpin carried weight to the extent 
of at least three hundred pounds. It was an intensely hot 
day in August, the thermometer running high up into the 
nineties. The monthly pay of the guard was due, but there 
were no funds in the treasury. Four of the six policemen 
bore the euphonious name of Skipper, and were clamorous 
for their pay. They dogged the Major from square to square, 
and clung like sleuth hounds to his heels as he traversed the 
streets in various directions, striving to make arrangements 
to meet their demands. Panting with the heat, the perspira- 
tion pouring from him like water, and exhausted by his un- 
wonted exercise, he rushed into a store, where a youth was 
engaged at the moment removing some tainted bacon, the 
four Skippers close at his back, and, sinking into a chair, ex- 
claimed, as he glared upon his tormentors, "By George, 
sonny, this weather is hot enough to make skippers in any 
meat, ain't it?" He had his joke; and the Skippers got 
their pay. 

The impressions made upon the mind in childhood and 
youth are always the most vivid and enduring, and though 


in the daily pursuits of life, in the arduous struggle for 
success and the jarring conflicts of adverse elements, those im- 
pressions may for a time be obscured or forgotten, yet they 
are never lost. As age creeps upon us and we live in recol- 
lection more than we do in hope, that longing for the past 
of our boyhood cleaves to us all. Our thoughts fly backward 
to the scenes and associations of our youth and fasten them- 
selves upon them with a longing that nothing else can satisfy. 
The present and the future are alike unheeded, for our yearn- 
ing hearts centre only upon the days that have faded into 
the distance. At such moments, incidents the most trivial 
will excite emotions to which we have long been strangers — 
a withered leaf, a strip of faded ribbon that bound the ring- 
lets of a lost and loved one, a line traced by a hand long 
mouldered into dust, a little word in kindness spoken, a mo- 
tion or a tear, will evoke recollections that genius cannot trace 
or inspiration fathom. 

x--' This train of thought has been excited by finding in a 
package of old papers that had long lain hid, some lines 
written many, many years ago by one who has long since 
passed to his rest, Johnson Hooper, a Wilmington boy. He 
was the son of Archibald Maclaine Hooper, one of the most 
accomplished scholars of his day, who edited for a number 
of years the Cape Fear Recorder, the only newspaper pub- 
lished in "Wilmington for a long period. He was a near rela- 
tive of Wm. Hooper, one of the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence. The family removed to Montgomery, Ala., 
where Johnson became connected with the Montgomery Mail, 
a newspaper of extensive circulation and great influence. He 
found time, however, from his arduous duties to indulge his 
humorous fancies, and while connected with that paper, gave 
the world several humorous works of great merit, viz.. Tak- 
ing the Census, Captain Simon Suggs, and others which gave 
him rank among the best humorous writers of the day. He 
died in Richmond, Va., shortly after the transfer of the Con- 
federate Government to that city. 


Nearly, if not quite eighty years ago, an Englishman, Mr. 
Anthony Milan, was British Consul at the port of Wilming- 
ton. He was an educated gentleman, but possessed certain 
peculiarities to an unusual and disagreeable extent, was 
dogmatic and overbearing in disposition, and exhibited con- 
tinuously a haughty, aristocratic bearing, which he took no 
pains to conceal. His "personal pulchritude" was immense, 
but he was always scrupulously neat in his attire, wearing 
fine broadcloth and ruffled shirts of spotless whiteness. A 
gold-framed eyeglass dangled from a ribbon around his neck 
and was conspicuously displayed upon his breast, while a 
number of massive gold seals hung pendant from his watch 
fob. He was altogether English, haughty and presumptuous, 
with a growl at everything and at almost everybody, and 
could not tolerate democracy in any form. 

About that time a ship had been built at the southern ex- 
tremity of the town, and the day appointed for the launching 
had arrived. As the building of a ship in those days was 
quite an event in the history of the town, almost the entire 
population turned out to witness the launching, and an im- 
mense crowd gathered on the wharves and the surrounding 
hills. Of course, the British Consul was there in full dress. 
The tide unfortunately was too low at the time for the ship 
to float when she left the ways ; she grounded, and just then 
Mr. Milan, by some accident, fell overboard, but was quickly 
hooked up out of the river all dripping wet, with his bald 
head glistening in the sun like burnished gold. He was not 
at all injured by his involuntary ducking, but excessively 
chagrined. Of course, the boys were delighted, for he was 
exceedingly unpopular with them, and the next day Johnson 
Hooper, one of the youngsters, produced the following lines, 
which exhibit, even at that early age, his playful fancies. 

Anthoits- Milan's Launch. 

Ye who pretend to disbelieve 

In fixed degrees of fate, 
Give, I beseech you, listening ear 

To what I now relate. 


It is about the launching of 

A stately ship I tell. 
And of a fearful accident 

That then and there befell 

To one well known to all in town, 

A man of portly size. 
Who carries watch seals in his fob 

And glasses in his eyes. 

He holds a high position from 

His Majesty Britannic, 
And claims to be a member 

Of the breed aristocratic. 

He looks with sovereign contempt 

On those whose daily toil 
Brings out in rich abundance 

The products of the soil. 

He does not care a pin for him 
Who weareth not fine clothes, 

And he uses linen cambric 
With which to wipe his nose. 

He has no need for comb or brush, 
For his cheeks are rosy red. 

And a microscopic lens can find 
No hair upon his head. 

His boots are always polished bright, 

His beaver sleek as silk. 
His ruffled shirt is clean and white 

As a bowl of new-skimmed milk. 

But to our fate — the morning sun 
Shone bright upon that day. 

When all our people through the streets 
Most gaily took their way. 

Down to the docks, where on the stocks 
The gallant ship was seen, 

Decked out in brilliant colors 
Of blue and red and green. 

A monstrous crowd was gathered there. 

In feverish excitement, 
To see the ship glide off the ways 

Into the watery element. 


The British Consul with his glass 

Stuck in his nether eye. 
Was there in force, for could the ship 

Be launched, and he not by? 

She starts, she's off, a shout went up 

In one tumultuous roar. 
That rolled o'er Eagles Island and 

Was heard on Brunswick shore. 

Full royally the ship slid down 

Towards the foaming tide, 
While cheer on cheer from every lip 

Went up on every side. 

She passed along towards the stream, 

Majestically grand — 
When suddenly she stopped. Alas! 

She grounded in the sand. 

And there she would have always stuck 

And never more have stirred. 
Had not the scene I now relate 

Most happily occurred. 

Just at that moment when she stopped, 

With many a shake and shiver. 
The pompous British Consul slipped 

And tumbled in the river. 

The Cape Fear rose three feet or more 

As Anthony went under, 
The waves they beat upon the shore 

In peals of living thunder. 

The ship was lifted from the sand. 

And like the lightning's gleam. 
She glided out into the deep. 

And floated in the stream. 

"All honor then to Anthony!" 

Was heard on every side. 
And should we build another ship 

And scant should be the tide. 

May he be there, and gently drop 

His carcass in the sea; 
That ship will float, it matters not 

How low the tide may be. 



^, (Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson.) 

After mentioning that he had engaged Sir William Don, an 
English nobleman, six feet six inches high, a comedian, Jef- 
ferson wrote : 

"Sir William went with us to Wilmington, North Carolina, 
where we opened with the stock, he appearing at the begin- 
ning of the second week. The audience here did not like his 
acting; they seemed to prefer our domestic goods to the im- 
ported article. He saw this, but did not seem to mind it, and 
so bowed to the situation. He became very much attached 
to the company and remained with us some time, joining in 
our fishing and boating parties. His animal spirits were 
contagious; and as we had no rehearsals, the mornings at 
least were devoted to amusement. We would do the most 
boyish and ridiculous things. Three or four of us, himself 
the central figure, would go through extravagant imitations 
of the circus and acrobatic feats that were then in vogue. 
The Bounding Brothers of the Pyrenees was a particular 
favorite with him. We would pretend to execute the most 
dangerous feats of strength — lifting imaginary weights, 
climbing on one another's shoulders, and then falling down 
in grotesque and awkward attitudes, and suddenly straighten- 
ing up, and bowing with mock dignity to an imaginary au- 
dience. Once he did an act called The Sprite of the Silver 
Shower^ pretending to be a little girl, and tripping into the 
circus ring with a mincing step. Then, with a shy look, he 
would put his finger in his mouth, and mounting a table would 
go through a daring bareback feat. Nothing that I ever saw 
was more extravagant. * * * 

"The next fall, 1852, we resolved to make another trial of 
our fortunes in the Southern circuit. Our limited means 
compelled us to adopt the most economical mode of transpor- 
tation for the company. It was settled, therefore, that we, 
the managers, should arrive at least a week in advance of the 
opening season ; our passage must be by rail, while the com- 


pany were to proceed by sea. There was in those days a line 
of schooners that plied between Wilmington, N. C, and 'New 
York. The articles of transportation from the South con- 
sisted mainly of yellow pine, tar, and resin, which cargo was 
denominated 'naval stores.' Feeling confident that we could 
procure passage for our company by contracting with one of 
these vessels to take them to Wilmington, we determined to 
conclude a bargain with the owners. The day was fixed for 
their departure, and Mr. Ellsler and I went down to the 
wharf at Peck Slip to see them off. It was an ill-shaped hulk, 
with two great, badly repaired sails flapping against her 
clumsy and foreboding masts. The deck and sides were 
besmeared with the sticky remnants of her last importation, 
so that when our leading actor, who had been seated on the 
taffrail, arose to greet his managers, he was unavoidably 
detained. There was handsome John Crocher, our juvenile 
actor, leaning with folded arms and a rueful face against an 
adhesive mast ; Mrs. Ray, the first old woman, with an um- 
brella in one hand and a late dramatic paper in the other, 
sitting on a coil of rope, and unconsciously ruining her best 
black dress, etc., etc., etc. It was a doleful picture. Our sec- 
ond comedian, who was the reverse of being droll on the stage^ 
but who now and then ventured on a grim joke off it with bet- 
ter success, told me in confidence that they all had been la- 
menting their ill-tarred fate. As we watched the wretched old 
craft being towed away to sea, we concluded that we should 
never forgive ourselves if our comrades were never heard of 
again. On our arrival in Wilmington the days were spent 
in preparing the dusty old rat-trap of a theatre for the open- 
ing, and our nights in wondering if our party were safe. The 
uneasiness was not lessened, either, by the news that there 
had been bad weather off Hatteras. Within a week, however, 
they arrived, looking jaded and miserable. Another week 
for rest and rehearsal, and our labors began. 

"Comedy and tragedy were dished up, and I may say, 
hashed up, alternately, as for instance, Monday, Colman'a 


comedy of The Poor GentJemnn, fancy dances by the sou- 
brette, comic songs by the second comedian, concluding with 
the farce of The Spectre Bridegroom. The next evening we 
gave Romeo and Juliet. I felt that the balcony scene should 
have some attention, and I conceived a simple and economical 
idea that would enable me to produce the effect in a manner 
'hitherto unparalleled in the annals of the stage.' Skir- 
mishing about the wharves and the ship-chandlers, I chanced 
to light upon a job lot of empty candle boxes. By taking a 
quantity the cardboards were thrown in, and nothing makes 
a finer or ipore imposing but unsubstantial balustrade than 
cardboard. The boxes, placed one by one on top of each 
other and painted a neat stone color, form a pleasing archi- 
tectural pile. The scene opened with a backing of something 
supposed to represent the distant city of Verona, with my new 
balcony in the foreground. All seemed to be going well till 
presently there came the sound of half-suppressed laughter 
from the audience. The laughter increased, till at last the 
whole house had discovered the mishap. Juliet retreated in 
amazement, and Romeo rushed off in despair, and down came 
the curtain. I rushed upon the stage to find out what had 
occurred, when to my horror I discovered that one of the 
boxes had been placed with the unpainted side out, on which 
was emblazoned a semicircular trade mark, setting forth that 
the very cornerstone of Juliet's balcony contained twenty 
pounds of the best 'short sixes.' " 

The War Between the States 


Through the courtesy of Mrs. Parsley, whose husband, 
Col. William M. Parsley, of Wilmington, gave his bril- 
liant young life to the cause of the Confederacy, I include 
as worthy of all honor the following narrative, to which her 
well-known devotion as one of the leaders of the Ladies' 
Memorial Society and as President of the Daughters of the 
Confederacy gives added authority and interest : 

"In 1861, when, amid great popular excitement and en- 
thusiasm, South Carolina seceded from the Union of States 
the people of Wilmington were deeply stirred by conflicting 
emotions. Meetings were held at various local points, and 
speakers for and against secession swayed the multitudes 
which attended them. At a town meeting, an address by Dr. 
James H. Dickson, urging moderation and advising against 
hasty action as to secession, was regarded with close atten- 
tion and respect, for Doctor Dickson was a man universally 
trusted and beloved, and one of the foremost to act in any 
movement for the welfare of Wilmington. 

"His speech was followed by one from Mr. 0. P. Meares, 
afterwards a colonel in the Confederate Army, and later a 
judge. He was an ardent secessionist and a fiery speaker, 
and the younger element was carried away by his eloquence, 
but the older citizens, devoted to the Union, were loath to 
break the bonds, and the community seemed equally divided 
until Mr. George Davis returned from the Peace Conference 
in Washington City, with his full account of the utter failure 
to arrive at an agreement, and gave as his judgment that the 
Union could only be preserved with dishonor to the South. 
The immense crowd gathered in the Opera House received 
his words in profound silence, as though the speaker's judg- 
ment settled that of each one who heard him." 


Me. Geoege Davis. 

In a memorial of this beloved leader of the lower Cape 
Fear the writer, whose affectionate admiration has continued 
with increasing veneration, said for his committee, on the 
occasion of a large assembly of representative citizens to 
honor Mr. Davis' memory by suitable resolutions of respect: 

"In 1861 the shadow of a great national calamity appeared 
— the whole country was convulsed with conflicting emotions. 
The political leaders of North Carolina were divided upon 
the issue. Mr. Davis loved the Union, and steadfastly coun- 
seled moderation. His appointment by Governor Ellis as a 
member of the Peace Commission, to which further reference 
is made, created a feeling of absolute confidence in the minds 
of the conservative citizens. 

"The desire of the people of ITorth Carolina was to see 
peace maintained, whether the Union was preserved or not, 
and for this purpose the Legislature on January 26, 1861, ap- 
pointed Commissioners to conventions to be held at Montgom- 
ery, Alabama, and Washington City. These Commission- 
ers were Hon. Thomas Euffin, Hon. D. M. Barringer, Hon. 
David S. Reid, Hon. John M. Morehead, Hon. D. L. Swain, 
J. R. Bridgers, M. W. Ransom, and George Davis. Mr. 
Davis went to Washington City as a member of the Peace 
Congress which assembled on February 4, 1861. The moral 
weight of the position and the character of the gentlemen then 
and there assembled gave to the significance of the occasion 
portentous aspects. The Congress sat with closed doors ; ex- 
President Tyler was elected President, and on taking the 
chair made one of the most eloquent and patriotic speeches 
ever heard. This Conference was in session until February 
27, 1861, when Mr. Davis telegraphed: 'The Convention 
has just adjourned sine die, after passing seven articles of the 
report of the committee, much weakened. The territorial 
articles passed by a majority of one vote. IvTorth Carolina 
and Virginia voted against every article but one.' " 

"It is difficult for those of us who remember only the in- 


tense unanimity of the Southern people after the war was 
fairly inaugurated to realize how in those previous troublous 
days the minds of men were perplexed by doubts. Up to this 
time the Union sentiment in N"orth Carolina had been in 
the ascendant. The people waited upon the result of this 
Congress, and in this section especially was the decision of 
many reserved until Mr. Davis should declare his final con- 
victions. His announcement of them marked an epoch in his 
life, and in the lives of countless others, for weal or woe." 

Immediately upon his return home, the following corre- 
spondence took place : 

Wilmington, 2d March, 1861. 
Dear Sir: — Your friends and fellow citizens are exceedingly 
anxious to hear from you with reference to the proceedings of the 
Peace Congress, and to have your opinion as to their probable effect 
in settling the distracting questions of the day. 

Will you be kind enough to give them a public address at such 
time as may suit your convenience? 

Respectfully yours, 

James H. Dickson. 
Robert H. Cowan. 
D. A. Lamont. 
Thomas Miller. 
Donald MacRae. 
Robert G. Rankin. 
James H. Chadbourn. 
A. H. VanBokkelen. 
To George Davis, Esq. O. G. Parsley. 

Wilmington, 2d March, 1861. 
Gentlemen: — Being under the necessity of leaving home to-mor- 
row, I will comply with the request of my fellow-citizens, as inti- 
mated in your note, by addressing them at such hour and place this 
evening as you may appoint. 

Respectfully yours, 

Geo. Davis. 
To Dr. Jas. H. Dickson, and others. 

The newspaper reports of the public meeting and of Mr. 
Davis' powerful speech which followed do not convey to our 
minds the overwhelming sensations of those who listened to 
this masterpiece of oratory. Mr. Davis was obliged to close 
before he had finished his address. The people were pro- 
foundly moved, the hearts of all were deeply stirred. Many 


left the hall while he was speaking, for they could not restrain 
their emotion. 

The Daily Journal of March 4, 1861, said: "In accord- 
ance with the general desire, George Davis, Esq., addressed 
his fellow-citizens on last Saturday, March 2d, at the Thalian 
Hall in reference to the proceedings of the late Peace Con- 
gress, of which he was a member, giving his opinion as to 
the probable effect of such proceedings in settling the distract- 
ing questions of the day. Although the notice was very brief, 
having only appeared at midday in the town papers, the Hall 
was densely crowded by an eager and attentive audience, 
among whom were many ladies." The report of the speech 
is very full, and deals with all the vital questions which were 
discussed at the Peace Congress. Mr, Davis said that "he 
shrunk from no criticism upon his course, but, indeed, in- 
vited and sought for it the most rigid examination. He had 
endeavored to discharge the duties of the trust imposed in 
him faithfully, manfully, and conscientiously, and whatever 
might be thought of his policy, he felt that he had a right to 
demand the highest respect for the motives which actuated 
him in pursuing that policy." 

Referring to his own previous position, what he believed 
to be the position of the State, the course of the Legislature in 
appointing Commissioners, and the objections to the action 
of the Peace Congress, Mr. Davis said he had gone to the 
Peace Congress to exhaust every honorable means to obtain 
a fair, an honorable, and a final settlement of existing diffi"- 
culties. He had done so to the best of his abilities, and had 
been unsuccessful, for he could never accept the plan adopted 
by the Peace Congress as consistent with the right, the inter- 
ests, or the dignity of North Carolina. 

Mr. Davis concluded by emphatically declaring that "the 
South could never — never obtain any better or more satisfac- 
tory terms while she remained in the Union, and for his part 
he could never assent to the terms contained in this report 
of the Peace Congress as in accordance with the honor or 
the interests of the South." 


When Mr. Davis had concluded Hon. S. J. Person moved 
that the thanks of the meeting be tendered to him for 
the able, manly, and patriotic manner in which he had dis- 
charged the duties of his position as a commissioner from 
North Carolina. The motion was enthusiastically carried. 

On June 18, 1861, Mr. Davis and Mr. W. W. Avery were 
elected Senators to the Confederate Congress from the State 
of K'orth Carolina. In alluding to his election the Journal, 
the organ of the Democratic party in this section, said : 

"Mr. Davis, in old party times, was an ardent and con- 
sistent member of the opposition, and was opposed to a sever- 
ance from the E'orth until he felt satisfied by the result of 
the Peace Conference that all peaceful means had been ex- 
hausted." In 1862 he, with W. T. Dortch, was again elected 
Senator by the legislature. 

In January, 1864, he was appointed by President Davis 
Attorney General in his Cabinet. The commission bears date 
of January 4, 1864. 

The high esteem in which Mr. George Davis was held by 
his devoted chief is attested in the following letters addressed 
by the Confederate President to his faithful Attorney Gen- 
eral after the evacuation of Richmond : 

Chablotte, N. C, 25th April, 1865. 

Hon. Geo. Davis, C. 8. Attorney General. 

My Dear Sir:— I have no hesitation in expressing to you my 
opinion that there is no obligation of honor which requires you, 
under existing circumstances, to retain your present office. It is 
gratifying to me to be assured that you are willing, at any personal 
sacrifice, to share my fortunes when they are least promising, and 
that you only desire to know whether you can aid me in this perilous 
hour to overcome surrounding difficulties. It is due to such 
generous friendship that I should candidly say to you that it is not 
probable for some time to come your services will be needful. 

It is with sincere regret that I look forward to being separated 
from you. Your advice has been to me both useful and cheering. 
The Christian spirit which has ever pervaded your suggestions, not 
less than the patriotism which has marked your conduct, will be 
remembered by me when in future trials I may have need for both. 

Should you decide (my condition having become rather that of a 
soldier than a civil magistrate) to retire from my Cabinet, my 


sincere wishes for your welfare and happiness will follow you; and I 
trust a merciful Providence may have better days in store for the 
Confederacy, and that we may hereafter meet, when, our country's 
independence being secured, it will be sweet to remember how we 
have suffered together in the time of her sorest trial. 

Very respectfully and truly your friend, 

Jefferson Davis. 

Charlotte, N. C, April 26, 1865. 
Hon. Geo. Davis, C. 8. Attorney General. 

My Dear Sir: — Your letter dated yesterday, tendering your res- 
ignation has been received. While I regret the causes which 
compel you to this course, I am well assured that your conduct now, 
as heretofore, is governed by the highest and most honorable motives. 
In accepting your resignation, as I feel constrained to do, allow me to 
thank you for the important assistance you have rendered in the 
administration of the Government, and for the patriotic zeal and 
acknowledged ability with which you have discharged your trust. 

Accept my thanks, also, for your expressions of personal regard 
and esteem, and the assurance that those feelings are warmly recip- 
rocated by me. 

With the hope that the blessings of Heaven may attend you and 

I am, most cordially your friend, Jefferson Davis. 

This affectionate regard for the beloved leader of the Cape 
Fear was the subject of repeated conversations in late years 
between the writer of these Chronicles and the distinguished 
lady who bore the honored name of Jefferson Davis, and who 
was ever faithful and true to him and to the people whom he 

Upon the receipt of the sad intelligence of his death, she 
wrote from a sick bed the following tender and sympathetic 
lines : 

"I am able to sit up a little, and regret that I am not strong 
enough to say as much about dear Mr. George Davis as my 
heart dictates. 

"He was one of the most exquisitely proportioned of men. 
His mind dominated his body, but his heart drew him near 
to all that was honorable and tender, as well as patriotic and 
faithful in mankind. He was never dismayed by defeat, and 
never dejected. When the enemy was at the gates of Eich- 
mond he was fully sensible of our peril, but calm in the 


hope of repelling them, and if this failed, certain of his 
power and will to endure whatever ills had been reserved 
for him. 

"His literary tastes were diverse and catholic, and his anx- 
ious mind found relaxation in studying the literary confi- 
dences of others in a greater degree than I have ever knovni 
any other public man except Mr. Benjamin. Upon being 
asked one day how he was, he answered : 'I am very much 
comforted and rested by Professor Holcomb's Literature in 
Letters/ one of the few new books which came out during the 
Confederacy. One of the few hard things I ever heard him 
say was when some one asked him if he had read Swinburne's 
Laus Veneris, and added, 'You know it is printed on wrap- 
ping paper and bound in wall paper,' he replied, 'I have 
never thought wall paper wholesome, and am sorry to know 
there is enough wrapping paper on which to print it.' 

"He was fond of tracing the construction of languages, and 
the variants from one root were a favorite subject of conversa- 
tion with him. 

"When he fell in love and married a charming woman, the 
whole of Richmond rejoiced with him, and expressed no 
doubts of the happiness of either. Mr. Davis' public life 
was as irreproachable as his private course. Once when my 
husband came home wearied with the divergence of opinions 
in his Cabinet, he said: 'Davis does not always agree with 
me, but I generally find he was right at last.' 

"I cannot, of course, tell you about his political opinions, 
except that he was one of the strictest construers of the Con- 
stitution, and firmly believed in its final triumph over all 
obstacles to freedom. 

"My husband felt for him the most sincere friendship, as 
well as confidence and esteem, and I think there was never 
the slightest shadow intervened between them." 

The Eesponse to Lincoln's Call for Troops. 
Resuming Mrs. Parsley's narrative: "Later, when Lin- 
coln's call was made for 75,000 men 'to put down the rebel- 


lion/ the whole of the Cape Fear section was fired, and with 
scarcely an exception looked upon secession and war as the 
inevitable outcome. 

"The young men wore secession rosettes and badges made 
of small pine burs. The military companies already organ- 
ized greatly increased their ranks, and drilled vigorously. 
Other companies were organized and men of Northern birth 
who did not join some military organization were regarded 
with suspicion. Many of this class slipped away to the north 
of Mason and Dixon's line during the next few months. 

"Men too old for service in the field formed a cavalry 
company under Captain William C. Howard, for home de- 
fense, and one company of quite elderly gentlemen was known 
popularly as the 'Horse-and-Buggy Company,' and though 
they did not drill, held themselves in readiness to do what 
they could when called upon. They did assist in the equip- 
ment of companies sent to the field, and many of them aided 
and supported, during the whole of the war, families of men 
in the service. 

"School boys drilled constantly in the streets with wooden 
guns and tin swords, and those owning a real gun or a good 
imitation were sure of being oflScers, no matter about their 
other qualifications, though to do them justice they did strive 
like men. 

"When a rumor came that the Harriet Lane, a small Reve- 
nue Cutter, had been sent to reinforce Fort Caswell, which 
was under command of Sergeant Reilly, the excitement was 
overwhelming. The Harriet Lane did not come, but when 
Fort Sumter was bombarded on the 13th of April, several 
companies of volunteers were ordered to the fort. Sergeant 
Eeilly, the lonely custodian of the fort, calling all present 
to witness that he was compelled by superior force, surren- 
dered it in due form and with military honors. He after- 
wards served with signal courage and devotion in the Con- 
federate service with the rank of major of artillery." 


As soon as the Eighth Eegiment of Volunteers was organ- 
ized it was ordered to encamp at Confederate Point, near New 
Inlet, the name having been changed from Federal Point. 
A few months later they were ordered to Coosawhatchie, 
South Carolina, and moved to several other points to meet 
expected attacks, and later they were ordered to Virginia. 
After the ten regiments of State troops were organized, the 
Eighth Eegiment of Volunteers became the Eighteenth North 
Carolina State Troops. 

Company G of this regiment was organized in Wilmington 
in 1853 as the Wilmington Light Infantry. They went into 
the war nearly two hundred strong, under Capt. William L. 
DeRosset, who was soon promoted. His successor was Capt. 
Henry Savage. Their records show that fifty-seven commis- 
sioned officers of the Confederate States were former mem- 
bers of this company. The regiment reached the seat of war 
in Virginia just in time for the battle of Mechanicsville, late 
in June, 1862. 

Wilmington Companies. 

From first to last there were sent from the immediate 
vicinity of Wilmington twenty companies of Infantry, two 
of Cavalry, and six battalions of Artillery, numbering in all 

nearly 4,000 men, divided as follows : 

No. of men. 

Co. C, 1st Infantry, Captain J. S. Hines 196 

Co. E, 1st Infantry, Captain James A. Wright 147 

Co. D, 3d Infantry, Captain Edward Savage 164 

Co. F, 3d Infantry, Captain Wm. M. Parsley 159 

Co. K, 3d Infantry, Captain David Williams 174 

Co. C, 7tli Infantry, Captain Robt. B. MacRae 159 

Co. A, 18th Infantry, Captain Christian Cornehlson 211 

Co. E, 18th Infantry, Captain John R. Hawes 169 

Co. G, loth Infaiitry, Captain Henry R. Savage 194 

Co. I, 18th Infantry, Captain O. P. Meares 186 

Co. D, 36th Infantry, Captain Edward B. Dudley 131 

Co. G, 61st Infantry, Captain J. F. Moore 106 

Co. A, 51st Infantry, Captain John L. Cantwell 132 

Co. C, 51st Infantry, Captain James Robinson 87 

Co. E, 51st Infantry, Captain Willis H. Pope 89 



Co. G, 51st Infantry, Captain James W. Lippitt 93 

Co. H, 51st Infantry, Captain S. W. Maultsby 75 

Co. K, 66th Infantry, Captain Wm. C. Freeman 140 

Co. D, 72d Jr. Reserves, Captain J. D. Kerr 91 

Co. H, 72d Jr. Reserves, First Lieut, D. J. Byrd 91 

Co. A, 41st Regt. Cavalry, Captain A. T. Newkirk 94 

Co. C, 59th Regt. Cavalry, Captain R. M. Mclntire 89 

Co. A, 1st Batt. Artillery, Captain Robt. G. Rankin... 147 

Co. B, 1st Batt. Artillery, Captain Chas. D. Ellis 208 

Co. C, 1st Batt. Artillery, Captain Alex. MacRae 177 

Co. D, 1st Batt. Artillery, Captain Jas. L. McCormack 127 

Co. C, 5th Batt. Artillery, Captain Jas. D. Gumming.. 142 

Co. D, 5th Batt. Artillery, Captain Z. T. Adams 205 

Enlisted for the Navy 250 

The officers and many of the men of the Third Regiment 
of Infantry were from 'New Hanover County, and that regi- 
ment (like the 18th) has always seemed to belong peculiarly 
to Wilmington. Its history, compiled by two of its surviving 
officers, Captains Metts and Cowan, and embodied in Clark's 
History, shows that its whole career was "special service," 
and the instances of signal bravery, daring, and endurance 
related were so constant that they were looked upon as all in 
the day's work, and no special notice was expected or taken 
of them. 

This regiment, which went to Virginia in 1861 with 
1,500 men, took part in every battle, in the thickest of the 
fray, from Mechanicsville to Appomattox. Very much re- 
duced by forced marches and hard fighting, with no chance 
for recruiting, only 300 men went into the battle of Gettys- 
burg, and when the regiment was mustered after the battle, 
Y7 muskets were all that responded in the ranks and "they 
lost no prisoners, and had no stragglers." 

The compilers of the history of the Third Regiment say 
modestly that they "were not in a position, nor of sufficiently 
high grade, to write anything beyond the range of their own 
vision, but that the history of one regiment of j^orth Carolina 
troops is the history of another, save in the details which 
marked their achievements." 


An incident told in Captain Benson's Memorial Address 
on General Whiting, delivered in Raleigh on Memorial Day, 
1895, is interesting. It was written to Captain Denson by 
Sergeant Glennan : 

"During the bombardment of Fort Fisher, there was at 
headquarters a detail of couriers, consisting of youths fifteen 
to eighteen years of age. The bravest boys I have ever seen ; 
their courage was magnificent. They were on the go all the 
time, carrying orders and messages to every part of the fort. 
Among them was a boy named Murphy, a delicate stripling. 
He was from Duplin County, the son of Mr. Patrick Murphy. 
He had been called upon a number of times to carry orders, 
and had just returned from one of his trips to Battery Buch- 
anan. The bombardment had been terriffic, and he seemed 
exhausted and agitated. After reporting, he said to me with 
tears in his eyes, 'I have no fear physically, but my morale 
is lacking.' And then he was called to carry another order. 
He slightly wavered and General Whiting saw his emotion. 
'Come on, my boy,' he said, 'don't fear, I will go with you,' 
and he went off with the courier and accompanied him to and 
from the point where he had to deliver the order. It was one 
of the most dangerous positions and over almost unprotected 

"The boy and the general returned safely. There was no 
agitation after that, and that evening he shouldered his gun 
when every man was ordered on duty to protect the fort 
from a charge of General Terry's men. The boy met death 
soon and rests in an unmarked grave, but his memory shall 
ever be treasured." 

The Memorial Association. 

A band of faithful women who had worked under Mrs. A. 
J. DeRosset as a Soldiers' Aid Society, organized in July, 
1866, a permanent Memorial Association, with the purpose of 
rescuing from oblivion the names and graves of the gallant 
Confederates who lie buried near Wilmington. Mrs. Julia 
A. Oakley was made president. The first memorial observ- 


ance was on Julj 21, 1866. Many citizens and a number of 
old Confederate soldiers were present and the ladies went 
from grave to grave in Oakdale, bringing their floral tributes 
to the dead. A beautiful and touching address was delivered 
by Maj. Joseph A. Engelhard, and prayer offered by Rev. 
George Patterson, who had been chaplain of the Third Regi- 

The Memorial Association afterwards obtained a charter 
from the Legislature through Col. William L. Saunders in 
order that they might hold the deed for a "Confederate lot," 
which was given them by the Directors of the Oakdale Ceme- 
tery Company. 

Five hundred and fifty bodies of Confederate soldiers, 
buried at various points where they fell in the vicinity of 
Wibnington, were brought and reinterred in this lot. Only 
a few of the names were known. 

In 1870 Memorial Day was observed for the first time on 
the 10th of May, the anniversary of Stonewall Jackson's 
death, which was afterwards made a legal holiday. 

In 1872 the beautiful memorial statue was unveiled. Self- 
denial, work, prayers, tears and heart's blood, went into the 
building of that monument. 

In 1899 a neat stone was placed, marking the grave of Mrs. 
Greenhow, who lost her life in the service of the Confederate 
States. This same year mention was made for the first time 
of the fact that the bronze statue of a soldier on the monument 
was cast from cannon captured during the war. 

In 1875 the Memorial Association, having been greatly 
weakened by death and the age of its members, decided to 
merge themselves into the new organization of the Daughters 
of the Confederacy, where they could still carry on their 
sacred work "buoyed up and assisted by the fresh enthusiasm 
of the younger association." They were made the Memorial 
Committee of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and some 
of them still assist in placing the fresh laurel wreaths on 
Memorial Day. 


Besides the five hundred and fifty buried in the Confeder- 
ate lot, there are scattered about Oakdale three hundred and 
eighty graves and in Belview, the Eoman Catholic Cemetery, 
and private burial grounds, about one hundred more. These 
are all marked with stone markers and, as far as possible, 
are adorned with a laurel wreath upon each recurring 10th 
of May. 


Bt John L. Cantwell. 

The fact that the State of North Carolina was slow to 
follow the secession movement of her more southern sister 
States was the cause of much chafing among her people in 
the eastern counties, and especially along the seacoast, where 
it was urged that the Federal Government was likely, at any 
moment, to garrison the forts commanding Cape Fear River 
and Beaufort Harbor. 

The people of Wilmington were particularly exercised 
over the possibility of such a step being taken, and it is likely 
that the knowledge of this strong feeling, and the impression 
that it would be regarded as an act of coercion, alone de- 
terred the Washington Government from sending down strong 
garrisons and ample munitions of war. 

Fort Caswell, commanding the main entrance to Cape Fear 
River, was a bastioned, masonry fort of great strength and 
in thorough order, but without mounted guns. Once occu- 
pied and armed, it would have been impossible for the Con- 
federates, without command of the sea, to have retaken it, and 
the port which afterwards proved of such inestimable value 
to them would have been effectually sealed. The Federal 
fleets having free entrance there, would have held the shores 
on either side of the river for some distance up, and com- 
manded, from a safe interior base, the entrance through I^ew 
Inlet, for the defense of which Fort Fisher was afterwards 

'From Clark's Regimental Histories. 


built, and that historic and epoch-making earthwork would 
probably never have been constructed. 

In the State at large the Union sentiment was at this time 
slightly in the ascendant. In the lower Cape Fear section 
the secessionists were probably in the majority. These re- 
garded delays as dangerous, and anticipated with forebodings 
the occupation of the forts by the Union forces. 

Early in January, 1861, alarmed by the condition of affairs 
in Charleston Harbor, they determined to risk no longer de- 
lay. A meeting of the citizens of Wilmington was held in 
the courthouse, at which Robert G. Eankin, Esq., who after- 
wards gave his life for the cause on the battlefield of Benton- 
ville, presided. A Committee of Safety was formed, and a 
call made for volunteers to be enrolled for instant service 
under the name of "Cape Fear Minute Men." The organiza- 
tion was speedily effected, John J. Hedrick being chosen com- 

On the 10th of January Major Hedrick and his men em- 
barked on a small schooner with provisions for one week, the 
Committee of Safety guaranteeing continued support and 
supplies, each man carrying such private weapons as he pos- 
sessed. Arriving at Smithville at 3 p. m., they took posses- 
sion of the United States barracks known as Fort Johnston, 
and such stores as were there in charge of United States 
Ordnance Sergeant James Reilly, later captain of Eeilly's 
battery. The same afternoon Major Hedrick took twenty 
men of his command, reinforced by Capt. S. D. Thurston, 
commander of the Smithville Guards, and a number of his 
men and citizens of Smithville, but all acting as individuals 
only, and proceeded to Fort Caswell, three miles across the 
bay, where they demanded, and obtained, surrender of the 
fort from the United States Sergeant in charge. 

Major Hedrick assumed command and prepared to make 
his position as secure as possible. About twenty-five strong, 
armed only with shotguns, but sure of ample reinforcements 
should occasion arise, these brave men determined to hold 


Fort Caswell at all hazards. In bitter cold weather, they 
stood guard on the ramparts and patrolled the beaches, reck- 
oning not that, unsustained even by State authority, their 
action was treasonable rebellion, jeopardizing their lives and 
property. There were only two 24-pounder guns mounted, 
one on the sea face and one on the inner face, both carriages 
being too decayed to withstand their own recoil, but, such as 
they were, with them they determined to defy the Army and 
JSTavy of the United States. The smoke of an approaching 
steamer being once descried below the horizon the alarm was 
signaled, and, believing it to be a man-of-war, the brave men 
of Smithville flew to arms, and soon the bay was alive with 
boats hurrying them to the aid of their comrades within the 
fort. Women, as in the old days, armed sons and fathers 
and urged them to the front. But the steamer proved to be 
a friendly one. 

Upon receipt of unofficial information of this movement, 
Gov. John W. Ellis, as Captain General and Commander 
in Chief of the ITorth Carolina Militia, 11th of Janu- 
ary, 1861, addressed a letter to Col. John L. Cant well, 
commanding the Thirtieth Eegiment North Carolina Militia, 
at Wilmington, in which, after stating his belief that the men 
were "actuated by patriotic motives," he continued : 

"Yet, in view of the relations existing between the General 
Government and the State of North Carolina, there is no 
authority of law, under existing circumstances, for the occu- 
pation of the United States forts situated in this State. I 
cannot, therefore, sustain the action of Captain Thurston, 
however patriotic his motives may have been, and am com- 
pelled by an imperative sense of duty, to order that Fort Cas- 
well be 'restored to the possession of the authorities of the 
United States. 

"You will proceed to Smithville on receipt of this commu- 
nication and communicate orders to Captain Thurston to 
withdraw his troops from Fort Caswell. You will also in- 
vestigate and report the facts to this department." 


Upon receipt of this order on the 12th, Col. T. L. Cant- 
well notified the Governor that he would proceed at once to 
Fort Caswell, accompanied by Eobert E. Calder, acting adju- 
tant, and William Calder, acting quartermaster, two staff 
officers temporarily appointed for that duty. Transportation 
facilities between Wilmington and Smithville were very lim- 
ited. Colonel Cantwell and his aids embarked on a slow- 
sailing sloop which became becalmed within four miles of 
Smithville. They were put into shallow water, from whence 
they waded and walked to Smithville, where they secured, 
with difficulty, because the populace was almost unanimously 
opposed to their supposed mission, a pilot boat in which they 
sailed to Fort Caswell, arriving there after dark. 

After some parleying, and not without reluctance, they 
were admitted and conducted to Major Hedrick, to whom the 
following order was delivered : 

To Majoe John J. Hedrick, Commanding Fort Caswell: 

Sib: — In obedience to the order of His Excellency, John W. Ellis, 
Governor, etc., a copy of which I herewith transmit, it becomes my 
duty to direct that you withdraw the troops under your command 
from Fort Caswell, and restore the same to the custody of the 
oflacer of the United States whom you found in charge. 

John L. Cantwell, 
Colonel Thirtieth North Carolina Militia. 
Robert E. Calder, Acting Adjutant. 

The garrison asked until the next morning to consider what 
reply should be made, and, on the morning of the 13th, this 
was returned: 

Colonel John L. Cantwell: 

Sib: — Your communication, with the copy of the order of Governor 
Ellis demanding the surrender of this post, has been received. In 
reply, I have to inform you that we, as North Carolinians, will obey 
his command. This post will be evacuated tomorrow at 9 o'clock 
a. m. John J. Hedrick, 

Major Commanding. 

George Wortham, Acting Adjutant. 


The fort was evacuated on the next day. Colonel Cantwell 
and his aides returned to Wilmington and reported the facts 
to Governor Ellis. The United States Sergeant again as- 
sumed control of the Government property. 

Thus matters remained in this section until April of the 
same year, the State in the meantime drifting steadily to- 
wards secession and war, and the people sternly arming and 
preparing. The local military companies in Wilmington 
were fully recruited, and the former "Minute Men" perma- 
nently organized as the Cape Fear Light Artillery, under 
which name they served through the war. 

On the 14th of April came the firing upon Fort Sumter, 
followed on the 15th by a call from the Secretary of War upon 
the Governor of North Carolina for "two regiments of mili- 
tary for immediate service." Immediately the Governor 
telegraphed orders to Col. J. L. Cantwell, at Wilmington, 
"to take Forts Caswell and Johnston without delay, and hold 
them until further orders against all comers." Colonel Cant- 
well, as commander of the Thirtieth Regiment !N'orth Caro- 
lina Militia, promptly issued orders to "the officers in com- 
mand of the Wilmington Light Infantry, the German Vol- 
unteers, and the Wilmington Rifle Guards, to assemble fully 
armed and equipped this afternoon" (15th), which, orders 
were promptly obeyed. 

On the morning of the 16tli the Governor telegraphed 
Colonel Cantwell to proceed at once to the forts, "and take 
possession of the same in the name of the State of ISTorth 
Carolina. This measure being one of precaution merely, you 
will observe strictly a peaceful policy, and act only on the 
defensive." The force under Colonel Cantwell's orders 
moved promptly. It consisted of the Wilmington Light In- 
fantry, Capt. W. L. DeRosset; the German Volunteers, 
Capt. C. Cornehlson ; the Wilmington Rifle Guards, Capt. 
O. P. Meares; and the Cape Fear Light Artillery, Lieut. 
James M. Stevenson, commanding. At 4 p. m.. United 
States Sergt. James Reilly surrendered the post at Fort 


Johnston, where Lieutenant Stevenson was left in com- 
mand with his company. The remainder of the battalion, 
under Col. J. L. Cantwell, proceeded to Fort Caswell and 
took possession at 6.20 p. m., Sergeant Walker, of the United 
States Army, being placed in close confinement in his quar- 
ters "in consequence of the discovery of repeated attempts to 
communicate with his government." 

Officers and men worked with vigor to mount guns and 
prepare for defense, and the work never ceased until the fall 
of Fort Fisher in 1865, and the necessary abandonment of 
the defense of the lower harbor. The Wilmington Light 
Infantry were soon after sent to Federal Point, where, in 
Battery Bolles, they began the first defensive works which 
afterward grew into Fort Fisher and its outlying batteries. 

Thus was war inaugurated in North Carolina more than 
a month prior to the act of secession, and it is a noteworthy 
fact that the news of the act dissolving its connection with 
the Union, and the call upon her sons to arm themselves was 
first made known to the pioneer troops of the Cape Fear on 
the parade ground at Fort Caswell. 


The day following the fall of Sumter, Maj. W. H. C. 
Whiting hastened to Wilmington and by courtesy took com- 
mand of the defenses of the Cape Fear. He at once formed a 
staff, organized the Quartermaster and Commissary Depart- 
ments, and assigned Capt. F. L. Childs, of the old Army, to 
duty as Chief of Artillery and Ordnance, and he appointed 
S. A. Ashe a lieutenant, and assigned him to duty with Cap- 
tain Childs. Capt. John C. Winder, who bore a commis- 
sion from Governor Ellis as chief engineer, reported to 
Major Whiting. So all of the departments were speedily 
organized, and the work of preparing for defense was begun. 
It was a time of unremitting work. 

To command New Inlet Capt. C. P. Bolles threw up the 
first battery on Confederate Point. It was called Battery 


Bolles. The Wilmington Light Infantry, Capt. W. L. De- 
Eosset, which had been drilled at the cannon at Caswell, was 
its first garrison. The most interesting of these early bat- 
teries was a casemate battery constructed by Captain Winder 
out of railroad iron and palmetto logs cut on Smith's Island. 
It was located near the river bank and a short distance higher 
up than Battery Bolles. Captain Winder's plan of defense 
for Confederate Point embraced a strong fortification to com- 
mand the inlet ; and in order to guard against a land attack 
there was a redoubt at the head of the sound, another half-way 
to the point, and a covered way was planned from the sound 
to the point, affording protection from the guns of the fleet 
to the riflemen while they should be engaged with any force 
that might attempt to land. 

Major Whiting was soon promoted to the rank of general 
and ordered to Virginia, and Col. S. L. Fremont had gen- 
eral charge of the Cape Fear. After some months, Colonel 
Brown of the Kegular Army succeeded Colonel Cantwell. 
Captain DeRosset was promoted and ordered to Virginia, and 
Maj. J. J. Hedrick had command at Confederate Point. 
That officer early became distinguished for energy and effi- 
ciency, and was especially remarkable for his skill in erecting 
batteries. His work at Confederate Point and also at Fort 
Johnston excited admiration. In October, 1861, when an at- 
tack was expected. Gen. Joseph R. Anderson, of Rich- 
mond, an old West Pointer, was assigned to the command of 
the district, and brought with him a full staff of Virginians. 
Major Lamb, of ITorfolk, was assigned to the command of 
Confederate Point and fortunately proved himself to be a 
most capable, efficient, and acceptable officer. 

Later in the war the importance of Wilmington to the Con- 
federacy became manifest, and General Whiting, doubtless 
the best Engineer officer in the Army, and a gentleman of 
most remarkable intellect and attainments, was assigned to 
the command of the district. General Hebert had command 
of the lower defenses. His headquarters were at Fort John- 


ston. It was here that he narrowly escaped being captured. 
One dark night young Lieutenant Gushing, of the Federal 
Navy, who achieved gi'eat fame by blowing up the ram Albe- 
marle, made a raid on Ilebert's private quarters, and came 
near carrying off the General to the blockading squadron. 
On another occasion, Gushing passed up the river to the 
vicinity of Wilmington and spent a day within sight of the 
town, without, however, gaining any information. 

In 1863, Gol. Thomas M. Jones, a brother of Gapt. 
Pembroke Jones of the ISTavy, and associated with the Cape 
Tear by his marriage with Miss London, was given command 
of Fort Caswell, but, his health failing, in 1864 he was suc- 
ceeded by Col. G. H. Simonton. 


When Beauregard fired that fateful bombshell which burst 
over Fort Sumter at half past four on the morning of April 
12, 1861, it sent a thrill of dismay into every Southern port 
and panic-stricken master mariners hurriedly prepared their 
ships for sea, and welcomed any wind that would blow them 
away from impending danger. 

In a short time the Gape Fear was deserted, and the occu- 
pation of pilots and longshoremen was gone. At that time 
there were sixty or seventy licensed bar and river pilots and 
apprentices, who had no thought of the rich harvest of golden 
sovereigns which Fortune was to pour into their pockets in 
the strange commerce of a beleagured city that became the 
gateway of the Southern Confederacy. 

The Blockade. 

On the nineteenth of April, 1861, President Lincoki de- 
clared by proclamation a military and commercial blockade 
of our Southern ports, which was supplemented, by the proc- 
lamation of the 27th of May, to embrace the whole Atlantic 
coast from the Capes of Virginia to the mouth of the 
Rio Grande. This was technically a "constructive," or "pa- 
per," blockade, inasmuch as the declaration of the great 


Powers assembled in Congress at Paris, in 1856, removed all 
uncertainty as to the principles upon which the adjudication 
of prize claims must proceed, by declaring that "blockades, in 
order to be binding, must be effective ; that is to say, must be 
maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to 
the enemy's coast." 

It was obviously impossible at that time for the Federal 
Government to enforce a blockade of the Southern coast, 
measuring 3,549 miles and containing 189 harbors, besides 
almost innumerable inlets and sounds through which small 
craft might easily elude the four United States warships then 
available for service, the remaining 38 ships of war in com- 
mission being on distant stations. 

Measures were, therefore, taken by the 'Navj Department 
to close the entrances of the most important Southern ports, 
notably those of Charleston and Savannah, by sinking vessels 
loaded with stone across the main channels or bars. Prepara- 
tions were also made on a more extensive plan to destroy the 
natural roadsteads of other Southern ports and harbors along 
the coast by the same means ; but, although twenty-five ves- 
sels were sunk in the smaller inlets, it does not appear that 
this novel method of blockade was generally adopted. 

In the meantime, urgent orders had been sent recalling 
from foreign stations every available ship of war ; and by De- 
cember of the same year the Secretary of the Navy had pur- 
chased and armed 264 ships which, with their 2,557 guns and 
22,000 men, rendered the "paper blockade" comparatively 
effective. A sorry looking fleet it was as compared with our 
modern navies ; ships, barks, schooners, sloops, tugs, passen- 
ger boats — anything that would carry a gun, from the hoary 
type of ISToah's Ark to the double-end ferry boat still con- 
spicuous in "New York waters. 

"The Blockading Fleet," says Judge Advocate Cowley, 
"was divided into two squadrons; the Atlantic Blockading 
Squadron of 22 vessels, carrying 296 guns and 3,300 men, 
and the Gulf Blockading Squadron of 21 vessels carrying 282 


guns and 3,500 men." This force was constantly increased as 
the two hundred specially designed ships of war were built by 
the ISTavy Department. The Squadron reached its highest de- 
gree of efficiency during the fourth year of the war by the ac- 
quisition of many prizes which were quickly converted into 
light draft cruisers and which rendered effective naval service, 
frequently under their original names. 

The Blockadees. 

The first blockader placed upon the Cape Fear Station was 
one bearing the misnomer Daylight, which appeared July 
20, 1861. Others soon followed, until the number of the 
blockaders off New Inlet and the main bar of the Cape Fear 
River was increased to about thirty or more; these formed 
a cordon every night in the shape of a crescent, the horns of 
which were so close in shore that it was almost impossible for 
a small boat to pass without discovery. Armed picket 
barges also patrolled the bars and sometimes crept close in 
upon the forts. For a year or more the fleet was largely kept 
upon the blockading stations ; then a second cordon was 
placed across the track of the blockade runners near the ports 
of Nassau and the Bermudas, the cruisers of which some- 
times violated the international distance restriction of one 
league — three geographical miles — from neutral land. At 
last a third cordon was drawn on the edge of the Gulf Stream, 
by which the hunted and harassed blockade runner often be- 
came an easy prey in the early morning, after a hard night's 
run in the darkness, during which no lights were visible to 
friend or foe, even the binnacle lamp being carefully 
screened, leaving only a small peephole by which the ship 
was steered. 

The Cruisers. 

Some of the later cruisers were faster than the blockade 
runners and were more dreaded than the blockading squad- 
ron — not only because of their greater speed, but chiefly be- 
cause of the proximity of their consorts which kept them 
always in sight, often to the discomfiture of their unhappy 


quarry, headed off and opposed in every direction. The 
prospective division of big prize money, running into mil- 
lions of dollars, was, of course, the most exciting feature of 
the service on the Federal side. Occasionally there was 
comparatively trifling compensation, but greater enjoyment in 
the capture of some small fry blockade runners, consisting 
of pilot boats or large yawls laden with two or three bales of 
cotton and a crew of three or four youths, that sometimes 
came to grief in a most humiliating way. These small craft, 
upon one of which the writer was at sea for two weeks, were 
too frail for the risk of the longer voyages, and were usually 
projected from the small inlets, or sounds, farther South, 
which gave them a short run of about a hundred miles to 
the other Bahama Keys, through whose dangerous waters 
they would warily make their way to Nassau. A boat of this 
description sailed over a Florida bar on a dark night under 
a favorable wind; but, failing to get out of sight of land 
before morning dawned, was overhauled at sunrise by a 
blockader and ordered to come alongside, where, with their 
own hands, these miniature blockade runners were obliged 
to hook on the falls of the Federal davits, by which they 
were ignominiously hoisted — boat, cargo and crew, to the 
captor's deck. 

The desertion of negro slaves from tidewater plantations 
and their subsequent rescue as "Intelligent Contrabands" 
by the coasting cruisers formed an occasional incident in 
the records of their official logs ; but it is a noteworthy fact, 
deserving honorable mention, that comparatively few of the 
trusted negroes upon whom the soldiers in the Confederate 
Army relied for the protection and support of their families 
at home were thus found wanting. A pathetic and fatal 
instance is recalled in the case of a misguided negro family 
which put off from the shore in the darkness, hoping they 
would be picked up by a chance gunboat in the morning. 
They were hailed by a cruiser at daylight, but in attempting 
to board her their frail boat was swamped, and the father 
alone was rescued ; the mother and all the children perishing. 


A Port of Refuge. 

The natural advantages of Wilmington at the time of the 
War between the States made it an ideal port for blockade 
runners, there being two entrances to the river; New Inlet 
on the north, and the Western or main, bar on the south 
of Cape Fear. 

The slope of our beach for miles is very gradual to deep 
water. The soundings along the coast are regular, and the 
floor of the ocean is remarkably even. A steamer hard 
pressed by the enemy could run along the outer edge of the 
breakers without great risk of grounding; the pursuer, be- 
ing usually of deeper draft, was obliged to keep further off 
shore. The Confederate steamer Lilian, of which I was 
then purser, was chased for nearly a hundred miles from 
Cape Lookout by the United States steamer Shenandoah, 
which sailed a parallel course within half a mile of her and 
forced the Lilian at times into the breakers. This was proba- 
bly the narrowest escape ever made by a blockade runner in 
a chase. The Shenandoah began firing her broadside guns 
at three o'clock in the afternoon, her gunners and the com- 
manding officers of the batteries being distinctly visible to 
the Lilian s crew. A heavy sea was running which deflected 
the aim of the man-of-war, and this alone saved the Lilian 
from destruction. A furious bombardment by the Shenan- 
doah, aggravated by the display of the Lilian s Confederate 
flag, was continued until nightfall, when, by a clever ruse, 
the Lilian, guided by the flash of her pursuer's guns, stopped 
for a few minutes; then, putting her helm hard over, ran 
across the wake of the warship straight out to sea, and, on the 
following morning, passed the fleet off Fort Fisher in such a 
crippled condition that several weeks were spent in Wilming- 
ton for repairs. 



Wilmington, the principal seaport of North Carolina, also 
became the most important in the Southern Confederacy. 
Prior to the beginning of hostilities it had sustained a large 
traffic in naval stores and lumber, and now it was to be for a 
time the chief cotton port of America. A startling change in 
the aspect of the port soon became apparent. The sailing 
vessels, even to the tiny corn-crackers from Hyde County, had 
vanished; likewise the two 'New York steamers. The long 
line of wharves was occupied by a fleet of nondescript craft 
the like of which had never been seen in North Carolina 
waters. A cotton compress on the western side of the river 
near the Market Street ferry, was running night and day, to 
supply these steamers with cargoes for Nassau and Bermuda, 
while other new comers were busily discharging their anom- 
alous cargoes of life-preserving and death-dealing supplies 
for the new Confederacy. 

The good old town was sadly marred by the plagues of war 
and pestilence and famine. Four hundred and forty-seven 
of the population, reduced by flight to about three thousand, 
had been carried off by the epidemic of yellow fever brought 
from Nassau by the steamer Kate; and hundreds more of 
the younger generation, who^ gave up their lives in the Con- 
federate cause, had been brought to their final resting place 
in Oakdale Cemetery. Suspension of the civil law, neglect 
of sanitary precautions, the removal of nearly all the famine 
stricken women and children to safer places in the interior, 
and the coming of speculators and adventurers to the auction 
sales of the blockade runners' merchandise, as well as the 
advent of lawless and depraved characters attracted by the 
camps and shipping, had quite changed the aspect of the 
whole community. The military post, including all the 
river and harbor defenses, was under the command of Maj. 
Gen. W. H. C. Whiting, a distinguished West Point en- 
gineer of great ability, well known and honored in Wil- 
mington, where he married and resided. He fell, mortally 


wounded, in the last Fort Fisher fight, and died a prisoner 
of war in a Northern hospital. His remains were brought 
home, and now rest in Oakdale beside those of his most esti- 
mable wife, who after some years followed him. 

The Yellow Fevee. 

The distress of Wilmington during the yellow fever epi- 
demic was described as follows by the late Dr. Thomas 
F. Wood in his biographical sketch of one of the heroes of 
that fearful scourge. Dr. James H. Dickson, who died at his 
post of duty. 

"The month of September, 1862, was one of great calamity 
to Wilmington. The alarming forebodings of the visitation 
of yellow fever in a pestilential form had ripened into a 
certainty. Depleted of her young and active men, there 
was only a military garrison in occupation, and when the 
presence of fever was announced the soldiers were removed 
to a safer locality. The country people, taking panic at the 
news of the presence of the fever, no longer sent in their 
supplies. The town was deserted, its silence broken only 
by the occasional pedestrian bound on errands of mercy to 
the sick, or the rumbling of the rude funeral cart. The 
blockade was being maintained with increased vigor. The 
only newspaper then published was the Wilmington Jour- 
nal^ a daily under the editorship of James Fulton, and its 
issues were maintained under the greatest difficulties, owing 
to the scarcity of paper and to sickness among the printers. 
All eyes were turned anxiously toward the physicians and 
those in authority for help. To all the resident physicians 
the disease was a new one; not one in the number had ever 
seen a case of yellow fever, and among them were men of 
large experience. The municipal authorities recognized 
their helplessness ; the town was neglected, for it had been 
overcrowded with soldiers and visitors since the early days 
of the spring of 1861. The black pall of smoke from the 
burning tar barrels added solemnity to the deadly silence 
of the streets; designed to purify the air and mitigate the 


pestilence, it seemed more like fuliginous clouds of ominous 
portent, a somber emblem of mourning. Panic, distress, 
mute despair, want, had fallen upon a population then 
strained to its utmost, with the bleeding columns of its regi- 
ments dyeing the hills of Maryland with their blood, until 
the whole air was filled with the wail of the widow and 
the orphan, and the dead could no longer be honored with the 
last tribute of respect. 

"The Wilmington Journal of September 29, 1862, gave 
all its available editorial space to chronicle, for the first 
time, the character of the epidemic, and in a few brief words 
to notice the death of some of the more prominent citizens. 
One paragraph in the simple editorial notice ran as follows : 
'Dr. James H. Dickson, a physician of the highest char- 
acter and standing, died here on Sunday morning of yellow 
fever. Dr. Dickson's death is a great loss to the profession 
and to the community.' Close by, in another column, 
from the pen of the Acting Adjutant, Lieutenant Van- 
Bokkelen, of the Third N. C. Infantry, numbering so many 
gallant souls of the young men of Wilmington, was the list 
of the killed and wounded on the bloody field of Sharpsburg. 

"Distressed and bereaved by this new weight of sorrow, 
Wilmington sat in the mournful habiliments of widow- 
hood, striving, amidst the immensity of the struggle, to 
make her courageous voice heard above all the din of war, 
to nerve the brave hearts who stood as a girdle of steel 
about beleaguered Richmond. 

"James Fulton, the well-known proprietor of the Journal, 
the wary politician and cautious editor, striving to keep the 
worst from the world, lest the enemy might use it to our 
disadvantage, often ruthlessly suppressed from his limited 
space such matters as in these days of historical research 
might be of the greatest service. There were two predomi- 
nant topics which eclipsed all the impending sorrow and 
distress: first, foreign intervention, for the purpose of 
bringing about an honorable peace; second, warnings to the 
State government of the inadequacy of the defense of Wil- 


mingion harbor against the enemy. The former topic was 
discussed with unvarying pleasure. The horizon of the 
future was aglow with the rosy dreams of mandates from the 
British and French Governments which would bring inde- 
pendence to the Confederacy and peace and quietness to the 
numerous homes, from the sea to the mountains, where 
sorrow and death had hung like a pall. It is not strange, 
therefore, that the few publications that had survived the 
scarcity of printing material should have contained so little 
biographical matter. Comrades dropped on the right and 
on the left, but the ranks were closed up, the hurried tear 
wiped away, and the line pushed steadily forward. The 
disting-uished physician, or general, or jurist, as well as the 
humble private, got his passing notice in the meagre letters 
which a chance correspondent sent to one of the few news- 
papers, and in a short time he was forgotten in the fresh 
calamity of the day." 

The following may be added to Doctor Wood's interesting 
account : 

In September, 1862, the military occupation, the laxity 
of municipal control, the constant movement of troops, the 
utter neglect of sanitary precautions, the non-enforcement 
of quarantine regulations, practically invited the introduc- 
tion of yellow fever from Nassau by the daily arrival of 
blockade runners with frequent cases of infection. 

The first victim was a German wood-and-coal dealer 
named Swartzman, whose place of business was on the 
wharf quite near the landing place of the blockade runner 
Kate, which brought the infection. My father was informed 
promptly of this by our physician. Dr. James H. Dick- 
son, who advised him to remove his family at once to the 
country. As my father had seen much of this terrible 
scourge in the West Indies and in South America, he rec- 
ognized the gravity of the situation, and sent us all to 
Duplin County, where he had relatives. Before we left, a 
ludicrous incident occurred which has stuck in my memory. 
One of my brothers having kept to his room from indispo- 


sition, was at once the object of miicli solicitude. My 
father, being a bit of a medico, directed the boy to put out 
his tongue, which he did with evident reluctance, to the 
horror of my father, who declared he had symptoms of yel- 
low fever. A shame-faced confession that the patient had 
been secretly chewing tobacco, which had caused his sick- 
ness, relieved the situation and calmed our fears. The year 
1862 is still remembered by our older people as a period of 
terror and dismay. The date of frost was delayed nearly 
a whole month that fall and nothing but frost would stay 
the fearful pestilence. 

Among the devoted band of Christians who remained at 
their post of duty and yielded up their lives while render- 
ing succor to those who could not leave, were Rev. R. B. 
Drane, rector of St. James' Parish, aged 62 years; James 
S. Green, treasurer of the Wilmington and Weldon 
Railroad, aged 63 years; Dr. James H. Dickson, an accom- 
plished physician and man of letters, aged 59 years ; John W. 
K. Dix, a prominent merchant, aged 30 years ; Isaac North- 
rop, a large mill owner, aged 67 years; James T. Miller, a 
prominent citizen and the collector of the port, aged 47 years ; 
Rev. John L. Pritchard, a Baptist minister, who fell at his 
post, never faltering, aged 51 years. Thomas Clarkson Worth, 
an eminent merchant, after laboring among the sick and des- 
titute, yielded his life to the plague November 1, 1862 ; Cyrus 
Stowe Van Amringe, one of nature's noblemen, who refused 
to leave, and remained to help the sick, died at his post, aged 
26 years. Rev. Father Murphy, a Roman Catholic priest, a 
hero among heroes, worked night and day until nearly the 
last victim had died, and then fell on sleep. Hundreds of 
others bravely met the issue and remained to nurse the sick 
during the horror, and few survived. Of about 3,000 in- 
habitants who remained in the city, about 500 died vdthin 
three months. 

In a sketch of Wilmington in 1867, the late Joshua T. 
James wrote of the epidemic as follows: 

"In August, 1821, the yellow fever appeared here, intro- 


duced bj means of the brig John London from Havana. It 
raged with great violence for about six weeks and a large 
proportion of the citizens of the little town, then number- 
ing only about 2,500 inhabitants, was swept away by it. 
In the autumn of 1862 its ravages were terrible. It 
began August 6th and ended November 17th, 44G persons 
having died of the plague within that time. In this in- 
stance, as in the former, it was imported from the Indies, 
and on this occasion by the steamship Kate, a blockade 
runner, trading between this port and Nassau. For over 
ten weeks it raged with terrible violence, and at a period, 
too, when it was most difficult to combat its effects. Medi- 
cines and provisions were both scarce and high in price and 
the little luxuries needed for the convalescent were most 
difficult to obtain. Those of the frightened inhabitants that 
were able to do so, fled the town ; all business was abandoned, 
and the closed stores and silent streets gave the place the 
appearance of a deserted city. It was then, in that time of 
distress and suffering, that a few of the noble spirits of 
Wilmington arose equal to the emergency. Regardless of 
self, many of our oldest and most valued citizens remained 
behind to minister to the wants of those who were unable to 
leave. Distributing food to the poor, medicine and attend- 
ance to the sick, consolation to the dying, and holy burial to 
the dead, they remained behind when many others had fled, 
and nobly fulfilled the trust they had assigned themselves. 
Many of them escaped, but some fell, and those from the 
ranks of the most honored and esteemed citizens of the town. 
Rest they well, and rest they calmly. They need no monu- 
ment above their tombs ; that is to be found in the hearts of 
those who knew them." 



(From the Confederate Veteran.) 

This noble character deserves prominent record for her 
services to the South. She was President of the Soldiers' 
Aid Society, of Wilmington, from the beginning to the end 
of the war. 

Endowed with administrative ability, which called forth 
the remark, "She ought to have been a general," gifted with 
unusual largeness of heart and breadth of sympathy, she was 
,a leader of society, yet ever alive to the wants and suffer- 
ings of the poor and needy. Under her direction the Sol- 
diers' Aid Society was early organized, and for four years 
did its work of beneficence with unabated energy. 

The ISTorth Carolina coast was especially inviting to the 
attacks of the enemy, and Mrs. DeRosset's household was 
removed to the interior of the State. Her beautiful home 
in Wilmington was despoiled largely of its belongings; 
servants and children were taken away, but she soon re- 
turned to Wilmington, where her devoted husband was de- 
tained by the requirements of business, and here devoted 
herself to the work of helping and comforting the soldiers. 

Six of her own sons and three sons-in-law wore the gray. 
The first work was to make clothing for the men. Many a 
poor fellow was soon without a change of clothing. Large 
supplies were made and kept on hand. Haversacks were 
homemade. Canteens were covered. Cartridges for rifles, 
and powder bags for the great columbiads were made by 
hundreds. Canvas bags to be filled with sand and used on 
the fortifications were required for Fort Fisher — and much 
more was in requisition. The ladies would daily gather at 
the City Hall and ply their busy needles or machines, with 
never a sigh of weariness. 

When the troops were being massed in Virginia, Wil- 
mington, being the principal port of entry for the Confed- 
eracy, was naturally an advantageous point for obtaining 
supplies through the blockade, and Mrs. DeRosset, ever 


watching the ojDportunitj to secure them, had a large room 
iA her dwelling fitted up as a storeroom. Many a veteran 
in these intervening years has blessed the memory of Mrs. 
DeRosset and her faithful aids for the comfort and refresh- 
ment so lavishly bestowed upon him. Feasts without price 
were constantly spread at the depot. ISFor were the spiritual 
needs of the soldiers neglected. Bibles, prayer-books, and 
hymn books were distributed. Men still live who treasure 
their war Bibles among their most valued possessions. 

Mrs. DeRosset's ability to overcome difficulties in get- 
ting all she needed for the men was the constant wonder of 
those who daily assisted her in her labors. An incident of 
her surpassing executive power is worthy of record. After 
the first attack on Fort Fisher, the garrison, under the com- 
mand of the gallant officers. Whiting and Lamb, was in 
great peril and in need of reinforcements, which came in 
Hoke's division of several thousand men — Clingman's 
Kirkland's, Colquitt's, and Hagood's brigades — and with 
some of the N'orth Carolina Junior Reserves. The wires 
brought the news that in a few hours they would arrive, 
hungry and footsore. Mrs. DeRosset was asked if the ladies 
could feed them. The ready reply was flashed back: "Of 
course we can," and she proved equal to the task. Through 
her energies and resources, and those of her able corps of 
assistants, she redeemed her pledge. Alas ! all efforts to 
relieve the garrison failed, and many heroic lives were sacri- 
ficed. The fort fell. Whiting and Lamb were both seri- 
ously wounded and carried off to prison, and our last avail- 
able port was in possession of the enemy. 

The harrowing scenes of hospital life followed, and here, 
as elsewhere, Mrs. DeRosset's labors were abundant. The 
sick were ministered to by tender hands, the wounded care- 
fully nursed, and the dead decently buried. The moving 
spirit in all these works of beneficence was the Soldiers' Aid 
Society, directed by Mrs. DeRosset. 

When all was over, Mrs. DeRosset was the first to urge 
the organization of the Ladies' Memorial Association, for 


perpetuating the memory of the brave soldiers who died for 
our Cause. Though persistently refusing to accept oflBce, she 
remained a faithful member of the Association as long as she 

A sketch of Mrs. DeRosset's work during the Confederacy 
would not be complete without some recognition of the 
valuable assistance given her by all of her colleagues, and 
especially by the Vice-President, Mrs. Alfred Martin. That 
she was looked up to as their leader does not in the least de- 
gree detract from the value of their services, for without 
strong hands and willing hearts the head would be of little 
avail, and she never failed to give due meed of appre- 
ciation to all who helped her in her work. From her own. 
countrywomen such devotion was to be expected, but the Ger- 
man women of the city entered into the work, zealously giving 
their means as well as their time to the call of their Presi- 
dent. Were it not open to a charge of invidiousness, a few 
names might be singled out as especially helpful and in- 
terested in serving the country of their adoption, with the 
unwearied fidelity of true-hearted women of every land. 

Her labors ended, Mrs. DeRosset has for years rested 
peacefully under the shade of the Oakdale trees, waiting her 
joyful resurrection. The daughters of the South could 
have no better, purer model, should their beloved country 
ever call on them, as it did on her, in time of need. 

Of her own sons, one noble boy of seventeen sleeps in 
Oakdale Cemetery, with "Only a Private" inscribed on a 
stone marking his resting place. 

Her oldest son, Col. Wm. L. DeRosset, of the gallant 
Third North Carolina Infantry, was wounded nigh unto 
death at Sharpsburg. He had succeeded his brother-in-law, 
Col. Gaston Meares, in the command of his regiment, that 
noble ofiicer having fallen at Malvern Hill. 

Her second son. Dr. M. John DeRosset, assistant sur- 
geon at Bellevue Hospital 'New York, with most flattering 
offers of promotion in a Kew York regiment, resigned his 
commission, came South, and was commissioned assistant 


surgeon, with orders to report to Jackson, in whose com- 
mand he shared the perils of the famous Valley Campaign 
of 1862. Later, he was one of the surgeons in charge of the 
hospital in the Baptist College, Richmond. 

Another son, Capt. A. L. DeRosset, of the Third Xorth 
Carolina Infantry, was several times disabled by slight 
wounds, and at Averasboro was left for dead on the field. 
He owes his recovery to the skill and care of a Federal 
surgeon, into whose hands he fell. 

Louis H. DeRosset, being physically incapacitated for 
active duty, was detailed in the Ordnance and Quarter- 
master's Departments, and was sent to Nassau on business 
connected with the latter. 

Thomas C. DeRosset, the youngest of the six, a boy at 
school, enlisted before the call for the Junior Reserves, and 
was detailed for duty under Maj. M. P. Taylor, at the 
Fayetteville arsenal. He died in 1878 from sunstroke 
when in command of the Whiting Rifles, attending the 
memorial services at Oakdale Cemetery. 

War Prices in Wilmington. 

As the war progressed the prices of food and clothing 
advanced in proportion to the depreciation of Confederate 
money ; the plainest necessities were almost unobtainable, 
—$50 for a ham, $500 for a barrel of flour, $500 for a 
pair of boots, $600 for a suit of clothes, $1,500 for an over- 
coat, and $100 a pound for coffee or tea, were readily paid 
as the fortunes of the Confederacy waned. Coffee was per- 
haps the greatest luxury and was seldom used; substitutes 
of beans, potatoes, and rye, with "long sweetening," — sor- 
ghum — having been generally adopted. Within a mile 
or two of our temporary home in the country there lived two 
unattractive spinsters of mature age, one of whom, in the 
other's absence, was asked by an old reprobate of some 
means in the neighborhood to marry him, a preposterous 
proposal, which she indignantly rejected. Upon the return 
of the absent sister, however, she was made to feel that she 


had thrown away the golden opportunity of a lifetime; for, 
"Why," said the sister, "didn't you know he has a bag of 
coffee in his house?" 

Another true incident will also serve to illustrate the 
comic side of the great crisis. Our evening meal consisted 
of milk, rye coffee, yopon tea, honey, and one wheaten 
biscuit each, with well prepared corn muffins and hominy 
ad lihitum. The biscuit, however, were valued beyond 
price, and the right of each individual to them was closely 
guarded by the younger members of the family. One even- 
ing there appeared just before supper an itinerant preacher, 
who was made welcome to the best we had. Addressing 
himself with vigor to the tempting plate of biscuit, and 
ignoring the despised muffins, which were politely pressed 
upon him by our dismayed youngsters at his side, he actu- 
ally devoured the entire dozen with apparent ease and great 
relish. Upon being informed at the hour of retiring that 
it would be inconvenient to serve his breakfast at daylight, 
when he desired to depart, he said, to our amazement, that, 
rather than disturb us in the early morning, he would take 
his breakfast then and there before going to bed. But 
there were no more biscuit to serve. 


Erom personal knowledge and from available records I 
have added to this narrative the following names of the 
living and the dead identified with Wilmington, which are 
held in grateful remembrance by those who recall their de- 
votion to the Lost Cause. Hundreds of others, equally 
meritorious, are upon the roll of honor, but because of lim- 
ited space I can include only the names of company and 
regimental leaders of the lower Cape Fear, and some others 
whose record is known to me. 

Prior to the formal secession of the State of North Caro- 
lina from the Union, affairs in Charleston had taken such a 
turn that the citizens of Wilmington anticipated the occupa- 


tion and strengthening of Forts Caswell and Johnston at 
the mouth of the Cape Fear, by the Federal Government. 
To prevent that a Committee of Safety was organized 
in Wilmington, and a call made for volunteers to enlist for 
immediate service. This call was promptly answered, and 
John J. Hedrick was chosen commander. These "Minute 
Men" embarked on January 9, 1861, for the mouth of the 
river, and being joined by a Smithville detachment, speedily 
took possession of the two forts. 

The Cape Fear Light Artillery was recruited from the 
local military companies, and especially from the body of 
"Minute Men" that took possession of Forts Caswell and 
Johnston prior to the formal secession of the State. Under 
this name the company served throughout the war. 

Gen. W. H. C. Whiting, having married Miss Walker, of 
Wilmington, at the outbreak of the war was a Wilmingtonian 
by adoption. The day after the fall of Fort Sumter he came 
to Wilmington and by courtesy assumed command, and 
for some weeks directed the preparations for defense. He 
was, however, needed at the front and was chief engineer 
with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at Harper's Ferry and at 
Manassas. After brilliant service in Virginia, on Novem- 
ber 17, 1862, he again assumed command of the defenses 
of the Cape Fear. 

Wilmington was the most important port of the Confed- 
eracy for the receipt of supplies and munitions of war, and 
an officer recognized in both armies as without a superior 
as an engineer was entrusted with its defense. General 
Whiting entered the Army with the highest record ever 
made by any graduate at West Point. Having been before 
the war in charge of the improvements of the harbor and 
the lower part of the river, he Was entirely familiar with the 
topography of the country, and he exerted every energy for a 
successful defense. Later, he was assigned to the command 
of a division in Virginia, but in the summer of 1864 he 
returned to the Cape Fear. 

General Whiting was mortally wounded in the second 


attack on Fort Fisher, when he exposed himself with unsur- 
passed heroism. He died a prisoner at Fort Columbus, 
New York Harbor, March 10, 1865. 

Col. Gaston Meares was appointed colonel of the Third 
Eegiment on its first organization, with Robert H. Cowan, 
lieutenant colonel, and William L. DeEosset, major. 

Mr. Meares, when quite a young man, moved to the West 
from Wilming-ton, and engaged in the Mexican War, and 
had attained the rank of colonel. On the secession of 
North Carolina, he reported for duty to the Governor 
and was at once commissioned as colonel, and given com- 
mand of the Third Eegiment, then just organized. Colonel 
Meares was a man of marked individuality, respected by 
his superior officers, beloved by his subordinates, and com- 
manding the admiration and confidence of the men of his 
regiment, for he was always intrepid, and in him they 
recognized a leader who would lead. 

At Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862, while on foot in front 
of the line, and, from a slight elevation, surveying the 
enemy through his field glasses, he was instantly killed by 
a slug from a shrapnel fired from a battery directly in 
front and not over twenty-five yards distant. 

Major DeEosset succeeded his brother-in-law. Colonel 
Meares, in command of the regiment; Lieutenant Colonel 
Cowan having been promoted before that to the colonelcy of 
the Eighteenth Eegiment. 

William Lord DeEosset was a member of one of the 
oldest and most prominent families of Wilmington, being 
the eldest of six sons of Dr. Armand J. DeEosset, all of 
whom served in the Confederate Army except one, who be- 
ing physically incapacitated for active duty was detailed in 
the Ordnance and Quartermaster's Departments. In 1861 
Wm. L. DeEosset was captain of the Wilmington Light 
Infantry. When Fort Sumter was bombarded, several vol- 
imteer companies were ordered to occupy Fort Caswell, 
the Light Infantry being among them. Later, when the 
Constitutional Convention authorized the organization of 


ten regiments, enlisted for the war and known as State 
Troops, he was commissioned major of the Third Regiment. 
Succeeding Colonel Meares in command, he led the regi- 
ment into the battle of Sharpsburg in September, 1862. 
He was seriously wounded; and, finding himself perma- 
nently disabled, he resigned, and was enrolled in another 
branch of the service. 

When Fort Caswell was first occupied, January 10, 
1861, the Smithville Guards, a volunteer company, of which 
Stephen D. Thurston was captain, joined the men enrolled 
in Wilmington, and took part in occupying Forts Johnston 
and Caswell. Captain Thurston was a few months later 
appointed captain of Company B, of the Third Regiment; 
and before Sharpsburg he had risen to the rank of lieutenant 
colonel. At Sharpsburg when Colonel DeRosset fell wounded, 
Lieut. Col. Stephen D. Thurston took immediate command of 
the regiment, and proved a brave and valiant soldier, lead- 
ing the Third in gallant style during the rest of the battle, 
where they "were in the vortex of the fire, and proved their 
endurance, tenacity, and valor." Of the twenty-seven offi- 
cers who went into action on that memorable morning all 
save three were disabled, seven being killed. Colonel Thurs- 
ton was disabled for several months, but returned to his 
command in September, 1864. He was again seriously 
wounded on the 19th of September, at Second Winchester. 
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Parsley was in command dur- 
ing the absence of Colonel Thurston. 

William Murdock Parsley, in April, 1861, organized and 
was commissioned captain of a company composed chiefly of 
the young men of Wilming-ton. They had formed a com- 
pany in the fall of 1860, under the name of "Cape Fear Rifle- 
men," and were among those who occupied Fort Caswell. 
After North Carolina seceded the Cape Fear Riflemen re- 
turned to Wilmington and disbanded. They were almost im- 
mediately reorganized under Captain Parsley and completely 
uniformed by his father, Mr. 0. G. Parsley, sr. The Cap- 
tain was just twenty years old and many of his men not 


mucii older. The company was attached to the Third Regi- 
ment, one of the ten organized as State Troops, and enlisted 
for the war. They were ordered to Richmond in June, 
and, arriving just after the battle of Seven Pines, Mechan- 
icsville was their first engagement. They took part in the 
Seven Days' Battles, and on July 1st, at Malvern Hill, Cap- 
tain Parsley was severely wounded by a minie ball through 
the neck; but after a three-months' furlough, he returned 
to his command and was in every battle up to Sharpsburg, 
September lY, 1862. 

Before that time he had by regular gradation reached the 
rank of major and, subsequently, on the resignation of Col- 
onel DeRosset and the promotion of Lieutenant Colonel 
Thurston, he became lieutenant colonel. In the campaign of 
1863, known as the Pennsylvania Campaign, Colonel Parsley 
had command of the regiment. He led it in the charge at 
Gulp's Hill on the 3d of July, when, with the Maryland 
Battalion, they took possession of the enemy's works. The 
Third was gTeatly reduced by severe fighting at Chancellors- 
ville and had had no chance to recruit its ranks since. This 
proud regiment that went into the field over a thousand 
strong in the Seven Days' Battles was, after Gettysburg, so 
much reduced that the major at the head of the column 
and the assistant surgeon, at the foot, could carry on a 
conversation without effort. Evei*y officer of Major Pars- 
ley's old company, the Cape Fear Riflemen, was killed. 

One of the original members of this old company, writ- 
ing in 1898 of Colonel Parsley, says, "As brave as the bravest, 
kind and considerate towards inferiors in rank, he was at 
all times thoughtful and careful of his men in every way. 
I believe all loved him. I know I loved him, for he was 
my good friend." Another comrade says, "The Major him- 
self, only 22 or 23 years old, had been in every engagement 
from the Seven Days' Battles to Gettysburg. His training 
had been under the eye of Col. Gaston Meares, and, as 
promotion followed promotion. Colonel Parsley was always 
a disciplinarian of the progressive type. On occasion he 


could be a boy and enter a wrestling match in camp with all 
the zest of a schoolboy, but woe to the officer who presumed 
upon this to take official liberties." 

Between Gettysburg and Chancellorsville he received two 
slight wounds, one being a narrow escape from death by the 
glancing of a ball on the button of his coat. At Spottsyl- 
vania, May 12, 1864, Colonel Thurston being absent, wound- 
ed, Lieutenant Colonel Parsley led the regiment, and with 
the greater part of it, after a desperate hand to hand fight 
at the "Horse Shoe," or "Bloody Angle," he was captured 
and confined at Fort Delaware. From there, with fifty 
other officers, he was transferred to Charleston Harbor on 
the prison ship Dragon and anchored in the line of fire 
from Charleston, "in retaliation" for the quartering of some 
Federal officers, prisoners, in the city of Charleston as a pro- 
tection to the city, full of non-combatants, against the Federal 
firing from the "Swamp Angel Battery." 

The prisoners on the Dragon were kept between decks, 
overcrowded, near a stove where all the cooking for the whole 
ship was done. Ventilation was bad, and the suffering 
from the heat almost unbearable. They were supplied 
scantily with the coarsest of food and subjected to all kinds 
of indignities. From here they were exchanged on the 3d 
of August. Colonel Parsley returned to the Army not long 
afterwards, taking with him a number of recruits for his 
regiment. He shared the fortunes of the Third till April, 
1865. Just three days before Lee's surrender, in the en- 
gagement at Sailors Creek during the retreat to Appomat- 
tox, when only twenty-four years old, he met his death by a 
minie ball fired by a sharpshooter, falling with his face to the 

Capt. W. T. Ennet, originally of Onslow County, was 
promoted to be major after the resignation of Colonel De- 
Eosset, and always after that commanded the regiment in the 
absence of Colonel Parsley. He was unfortunately captured 
at Spottsylvania and sent to Fort Delaware, and was among 
those taken to Charleston Harbor on the prison ship Dragon, 


suffering the hardships of imprisonment with the rest. 
Major Ennet was hj profession a physician and highly ac- 
complished. He was also a brave soldier and a warm friend. 

Col. Robert H. Cowan was first chosen lieutenant col- 
onel of the Third Eegiment, but in the summer of 1862 was 
elected colonel of the Eighteenth. The Third Regiment 
parted with sincere regret from Colonel Cowan. The whole 
command, both rank and file, loved him and recognized him 
as one of those by whom the regiment had been brought to its 
fine efiiciency. The esteem in which he was held was mani- 
fested on his departure by the presentation to him by the 
regiment of a very fine horse. Colonel Cowan was a native 
of Wilmington and was prominent in the politics of the 
State. No man was more loved and admired than he. His 
gallantry was unequaled, while his charming personality 
and graceful manners are well remembered by all who knew 
him. He was wounded severely at the last of the Seven 
Days' battles around Richmond, and being disabled from 
service, resigned in ISTovember, 1862. 

Col. John L. Cantwell's military career began with 
the Mexican War. The records say, "that seldom has the 
flag of any country waved over a braver soldier." As col- 
onel of the Thirtieth Regiment ISTorth Carolina Militia he 
took possession of Forts Caswell and Johnston on April 16, 
1861, being authorized by the Governor to do so. On its organ- 
ization, April 13, 1862, Colonel Cantwell was elected colonel 
of the Fifty-first Regiment, but resigned and was appointed 
lieutenant colonel of the Fifty-ninth Regiment, which was 
most active in several campaigns in North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia. "At the battle of Middleburg on June 18, 1863, at the 
head of a detachment of his regiment, after fiercely contesting 
every inch of ground with a force several times larger than his 
own, he stood up urging his men not to yield, until, sur- 
rounded and overpowered, his sword was snatched from his 
hand and he was made prisoner." Colonel Cantwell wrote a 
minute and exhaustive account of prison life on Morris 


Island, and he was among the 600 prisoners who were ex- 
posed to a cross fire on that island. 

Besides these, a host of others whose services should not 
be forgotten crowd the memory. Brave Maj. Alexander 
MacEae, of age too advanced for service in the field in Vir- 
ginia, yet accepted command of the First Battalion of Heavy 
Artillery in General Hebert's brigade, and did duty at the 
mouth of the Cape Fear until the fall of Fort Fisher. The 
gallant old father was worthily followed by his brave sons, 
William, brigadier general in the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia; Henry, major of the Seventh Eegiment; Eobert B., 
major of the Eighth, and Walter G., captain in the Seventh, 
after serving in the Eighteenth and in the Heavy Artillery 
at Fort Fisher, and in Captain McNeill's Partisan Eangers. 

John J. Hedrick was major of engineers. He was a brave 
and skillful artillery commander, and had been in active 
service since the beginning of the war. He had charge of 
the building of Fort Fisher and other forts and works in the 
vicinity, one small fort on Bald Head being named Fort 
Hedrick in his honor. When the Fortieth Eegiment (Third 
Artillery) was organized in December, 1863, Major Hedrick 
was appointed its colonel. This regiment took part in the 
defense of Fort Fisher, December 24 and 25, 1864, and 
January 13, 1865, and on January I7th, it was ordered 
to Fort Anderson about ten miles up the river, where 
the garrison of about 900 men was under the immediate 
command of Colonel Hedrick. On February I7th, the enemy 
attacked the fort in the rear with about 10,000 infantry, 
while Porter, with a fleet of sixteen gunboats and ironclads, 
lying within a few hundred yards of the fort, quickly de- 
molished the guns. In this fight, under Colonel Hedrick'a 
leadership, great bravery and heroism were shown, but find- 
ing the command in danger of being cut off by a heavy 
column of infantry in the rear. Colonel Hedrick determined 
to evacuate the fort. Carrying all the light guns, including 
the Whitworth cannon, they fell back towards Wilmington. 
Later, while on the way to meet the enemy advancing from 


New Bern, there was a battle at Jackson's Mills, in which 
about 2,000 Federal prisoners were captured; but the Con- 
federate loss was heavy. Here, while gallantly leading his 
regiment in a charge upon the enemy, Colonel Hedrick was 
seriously wounded. 

John D. Barry enlisted as a private in Company I, Eighth 
Eegiment, and on the reorganization was elected captain of 
the company. On the fall of the gallant Colonel Purdie, of 
Bladen County, in June, 1863, he became colonel of the 
regiment. He was a valiant and dashing officer, and nobly 
upheld the traditions of his family, one of the best of the 
Cape Fear section, his grandfather being Gen. Thomas Owen 
and his great uncle. Gov. James Owen. The companies com- 
posing the Eighth Eegiment of Volunteers (afterwards the 
Eighteenth North Carolina State Troops) were: 

The Wilmington Light Infantry, Capt. Henry Savage; 
the Wilmington Kifle Guards, Capt. Robert Williams; 
the Scotch Boys, Capt. Charles Malloy ; the German Volun- 
teers, Capt. C. Cornehlson; and the companies of Capt. 
George Tait, of Bladen County ; Capt. Robert Tait, of Bla- 
den County ; Captain Norment, of Robeson County ; Captain 
Gore, of Whiteville, Columbus County ; Capt. J. R, Hawes, 
of Long Creek, New Hanover County. 

About the first of August, 1864, General Lane being 
wounded. Colonel Barry was appointed temporary brigadier 
general and commanded the brigade, skirmishing almost 
daily till the 28th. Subsequently, while on a reconnoitering 
tour, Colonel Barry was wounded by a sharpshooter. Some 
time in the latter part of 1864, as General Lane returned to 
the brigade, Colonel Barry, on account of his wounds and im- 
paired health, was assigned to department duty with his 
regular grade of colonel. 

After the close of the war, he returned to Wilmington and 
in partnership with Wm. H. Bernard, began the publication 
of the Dispatch. Only a few years were left him of broken 
health, and nearly fifty years ago he died in the old house 
he had left in vigorous youth and with high hopes in 1861. 


A few years ago, Col. John D. Taylor passed from our 
midst, leaving a great name as a soldier and a Christian gen- 
tleman, with an affectionate memory of his manly figure, his 
gentle, sympathetic smile, and the empty sleeve he wore. He 
was captain in the Thirty-sixth Regiment (Second Artillery), 
was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and served at different 
points in defense of the Cape Fear. At the fall of Fort 
Fisher, Colonel Taylor and a part of his regiment were ab- 
sent on leave, but they made their way to the field of Benton- 
ville, and took part in that battle, covering themselves with 
glory as part of the "Eed Infantry" ; Colonel Taylor losing 
his left arm in that battle. 

Upon the death of Colonel Taylor, the following tribute 
of a devoted friend was published in the Star^ May 22, 1912 : 

"A fellow townsman recently said to the writer: 'I never 
passed Colonel Taylor upon the street without exercising the 
privilege of shaking his hand, because I believed that he 
exemplified in his daily life, to a remarkable degree, those 
virtues which adorn the character of the Southern Christian 

"His old time urbanity, his winsome smile, his almost wom- 
anly tenderness, his gentle patience, his childlike faith, 
drew him to our hearts and we loved him. Probably no 
citizen of our community was more generally respected. 
There was a quiet dignity in this serene, devout Christian, 
which told of conflicts won while learning to endure hardness 
as a good soldier, and of a peace which passes the under- 
standing of this world, which enabled him to look o'er heights 
of toil and sacrifice and find his chief meed in thoughts of 
duty done. 

"During his long and honored life he had inspired the 
hearts and guided the steps of worthy sons and daughters in 
the way of life, to the end that they might 'glorify God and 
enjoy Him forever.' His children rise up and call him 

"In public life he discharged his official duties with dili- 
gence, ability, impartiality, and uprightness. Party lines 


vanished in the pure light of his moral excellence, and his 
return to office at the expiration of each term, without a dis- 
senting vote, attest the abiding confidence of his fellow 

"Eminent among the local leaders of the Lost Cause, he 
believed, with his great chieftain, that Duty is the sublimest 
word in our language, 'and by it as a pilot star, he ever 
steered his steadfast course.' He went into his last battle at 
Bentonville with Company A, Captain Kankin, Company 
B, Captain Taylor, Company C, Captain Brown, and Cap- 
tain McDougal's company, and a remnant of the Thirty- 
sixth Eegiment, in all 350 men; and he emerged with nine- 
teen other survivors, an honorable record, and an empty 
sleeve. Rankin, Taylor, McDougal and Brown were des- 
perately wounded, and Colonel Taylor was the only officer 
who survived the desperate and bloody charge of the 'Eed 

"He sheathed his sword when the cause for which he 
fought was lost, but he put on the invisible armor of the 
Soldier of the Cross, and he has fought a good fight and laid 
hold on Eternal Life. The greater number of his devoted 
comrades have crossed over the river, and they rest with their 
commander under the shades of the trees. 

"We read that at the roll call of the flower of l^apoleon's 
army, the Imperial Guard, as silence fell upon the utterance 
of a name which death had claimed from the arms of victory, 
a comrade would step forward from the ranks, and, raising 
his hand in grave salute, would answer: 'Died on the field 
of honor !' The thin gray line of Appomattox, diminishing 
day by day as it yields to the call of the great Conqueror, still 
closes up its broken ranks of hoary heads and feeble knees. 
Soon it will vanish away and there will be no reverent com- 
rade's voice to answer the roll call of the dead. 

"But Death's truer name is Onward, 'l^o discordance in 

the roll of that eternal harmony, whereto the worlds beat 

time !' 

'The glory born of goodness never dies. 

Its flag is not half-masted in the skies! * 


"In the sessions of his beloved church, our friend will be 
greatly missed — in no circle beyond his beautiful home life 
was he more welcome than in that of the church of his fathers. 

"David Worth, DuBrutz Cutlar, Kenneth Murchison, Wil- 
liam DeRosset, Alfred Waddell, John D. Taylor, classmates 
all at Chapel Hill, were of the flower of Wilmington, and 
they are gone ; but to live in the hearts of those we love is not 
to die. 'By the light of their lofty deeds and kindly virtues, 
memory gazes back into the past and is content ; by the light 
of Revelation hope looks beyond the grave into the bright day 
of immortality and is happy.' " 

Edward D. Hall organized at Wilmington, in the spring 
of 1861, a company composed principally of Irishmen ; and 
no better, or more loyal men or braver soldiers could be found. 
When work or fighting was to be done they were always 
ready. This company was first stationed at Fort Caswell; 
was later sent to Weldon and attached to the Second Regi- 
ment, North Carolina Infantry, and ordered to Richmond, 
and from there to various points in Virginia until the spring 
of 1862, when it was returned to North Carolina with Gen- 
eral Holmes' division, and was afterwards detached and sent 
to the Cape Fear and stationed at fortifications on the river. 

In March, 1862, Captain Hall was made colonel of the 
Forty-sixth Regiment, organized at Camp Mangum near 
Raleigh. Ordered to Virginia, this regiment bore a 
conspicuous part in the battle of Sharpsburg, calling forth 
from the division commander especial mention of its gallant 
colonel and staff for distinguished bravery and coolness un- 
der fire. During that day the regiment occupied several posi- 
tions of importance and great danger, and on every occasion, 
it exhibited that steadiness and coolness which characterized 
its record. In October at Bristow Station General Cooke fell, 
and the command of the brigade devolved on Colonel Hall. An 
unequal struggle was waged, and disaster was averted only by 
Colonel Hall's skillful management of his command. Late 
in 1863 Colonel Hall resigned to accept a civil office in 
North Carolina, and the regiment lost its brilliant com- 


mander, a brave man, a good disciplinarian, a most valuable 
and efficient officer. It v\^as with much regret that his regi- 
ment bade him farewell. 

Alexander Duncan Moore, who at first commanded a bat- 
tery of light artillery from Wilmington, was made colonel 
of the Sixty-sixth Regiment, organized in August, 1863. 
Colonel Moore had been at West Point Military Academy 
and was a brilliant young officer of remarkable appearance 
and soldierly bearing. The Sixty-sixth was ordered to Vir- 
ginia in May, 1864, where in "its first baptism of fire on the 
15th of May, its gallantry was conspicuous, and favorably 
commented upon by commanding officers." A series of bat- 
tles followed, and on the 3d of June, 1864, Colonel Moore 
was mortally wounded, a ball striking him in the neck. The 
memory of his heroic courage was ever after present with 
the officers and men of his command, and comments were 
made upon his gallantry and the soldierly qualities he always 

In the attack on Petersburg Colonel Moore was told that 
his regiment was advancing too rapidly ahead of the right 
and left, and he was directed to preserve the alignment. On 
receiving this order Colonel Moore seized his colors, planted 
the staff upon the ground and lifted his sword in the air above 
his head, the well known signal; his command halted and 
dressed on the colors, until the regiments on the right and 
left came upon the same line — then with a yell, all three 
sprang forward and rushed upon the enemy. The movement 
was successful and the foe retreated. 

George Tait, of Bladen County, who was elected major of 
the Eighth Regiment in July, 1861, resigned his commission, 
and was, with Company K, of the Fortieth Regiment, sta- 
tioned at a battery near Federal Point Lighthouse. On the 
1st of December, 1863, when the Fortieth Regiment was or- 
ganized as Third Artillery, Captain Tait was appointed lieu- 
tenant colonel. In January, 1865, he resigned this commis- 
sion to take one as colonel of the Sixty-ninth North Carolina 
Regiment. Colonel Tait was a fine disciplinarian. He re- 


mained detached from the Fortieth Regiment after it had 
formed in order to train, drill, and discipline the officers and 
men of the Thirty-sixth ; and then he drilled and disciplined 
the Fortieth, which was afterwards pronounced by the In- 
spector General, Colonel Tansill, "the best drilled regiment 
of Confederate soldiers" that he had ever seen. 

Colonel Tait was a good and brave officer, and in his rank 
had no superior. 

The Thirty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, Second Artil- 
lery, was organized at Fort Caswell under Brig. Gen. S. G. 
French, commanding the District of the Cape Fear. Col. 
Wm. Lamb was colonel and James M. Stevenson, of Wilming- 
ton, major. Major Stevenson, in November, 1864, was or- 
dered with a part of his battalion to Georgia to join the Con- 
federate forces opposing Sherman's advance to Savannah. 
About fourteen miles from that place, at Harrison's Old Field, 
with parts of four battalions he met and contested the ad- 
vance of a large force of the enemy, fighting so valiantly that 
his whole command came near being captured. He, however, 
made his escape with all his men, except thirteen killed. He 
also brought off all wounded, his artillery and wagons; and 
that same night he marched into Savannah and reported to 
General Hardee, by whom he was warmly received and highly 
complimented. He afterwards returned to Fort Fisher, was 
there when Fort Fisher fell, and was badly wounded, cap- 
tured, and taken to Governors Island, where he died of his 
wounds in prison. 

Maj. James Dillard Radcliffe, then connected with the 
Engineer Department of the Cape Fear defenses, was elected 
colonel of the Eighth Regiment of Volunteers, on its first 
organization in 1861. Colonel Radcliffe, who had been prin- 
cipal of a military school in Wilmington for several years 
previous to the war, was an excellent drillmaster and disci- 
plinarian, and soon had the regiment well drilled. On the re- 
organization in 1862, the regiment then being the Eighteenth 
State Troops, he was not reelected, but he became colonel 


of the Sixty-first Regiment, when it was organized in August, 

Alfred M. Waddell, lieutenant colonel of the Forty-first 
Eegiment (Third Cavalry) was a scion of one of the old and 
venerated families of the Cape Fear. He was commissioned 
lieutenant colonel in August, 1863, having previously served 
as adjutant. His regiment was scattered over an extended 
field of operations, and operated as detached cavalry, or 
partisan rangers. In August, 1864, Colonel Waddell re- 
signed. After the war he used his brilliant talent and elo- 
quence, always as long as he lived, in behalf of his comrades 
and his fellow citizens of the Cape Fear section. 

In August, 1863, Eoger Moore, a descendant of another 
Eoger Moore who lived in princely style in Colonial times, 
and was known on the Cape Fear as "King" Roger, was 
appointed major of the Third Cavalry. He was a brave sol- 
dier, maintaining the honor of his ancestors upon the field. 
In August, 1864, when Colonel Waddell resigned. Major 
Moore became commanding officer of the regiment, which was 
looked upon as a bulwark of protection for the railroad from 
Weldon to Wilmington, and of all that portion of thirty coun- 
ties east of it which was not in the hands of the enemy. Pro- 
tecting the villages and settlements from forays, guarding the 
cross-roads and bridges and checking the approach of the 
enemy whenever he advanced beyond his gunboats, this regi- 
ment daily and hourly did service of vital importance. In 
1864 the regiment was ordered to Virginia and took part in 
the brilliant attack on Reams Station, August 25, 1864, 
following which General Lee wrote to Governor Vance, "If 
those men who remain in North Carolina have the spirit of 
those sent to the field, as I doubt not they have, her defense 
may be securely entrusted to their hands." 

John Grange Ashe entered the Confederate service in 
April, 1861, as lieutenant under Gen. Braxton Bragg, at 
Pensacola. He was appointed acting adjutant general to 
Gen. Robert Ransom in June, 1862, and later in the same 
year was made major of sharpshooters. He also partici- 


pated in the Eed River campaign with Gen. Dick Taylor, 
in 1864. He died in Texas in 1867. 

William S. Ashe was appointed major quartermaster 
July 17, 1861, and colonel quartermaster, September 25, 
1861. He had in charge all Confederate transportation east 
of the Mississippi Eiver. Desiring more active service, in 
the summer of 1862 he was authorized by President Davis to 
raise a legion of artillery, cavalry, and infantry, but before 
he had been able to do so, he was killed in a railroad accident 
in September, 1862. 

Dr. Alexander Ashe served as assistant surgeon in the 
Confederate ^avj. He died in Texas, 1866. 

Samuel A. Ashe was appointed lieutenant of artillery on 
April 17, 1861, by Major Whiting, who had assumed com- 
mand of the Cape Fear defenses, and in May was commis- 
sioned by the State. Although all North Carolina staff ap- 
pointments ceased on the transfer of our troops to the Con- 
federacy on August 20, 1861, he and Capt. John C. Win- 
der continued at their work until November, when he was 
relieved. Captain Ashe then joined, as a volunteer, Company 
I, Eighth Eegiment, at the front at Coosawhatchie, S. C. ; and 
later enlisted regularly as a private in that company. But in 
December, the President appointed him in the Regular Army, 
and in March, 1862, the commission came to him through 
Gen. R. E. Lee, then commanding at the South. He was as- 
signed to duty at the Charleston arsenal, where he remained 
until the middle of July, when he was appointed acting adju- 
tant general to General Pender, and joined Pender's brigade 
in Virgina. The night following the battle of Second Manas- 
sas, he fell into the enemy's hands and was confined in the Old 
Capitol Prison until October, when he was exchanged. In 
November he was assigned to duty with General Clingman's 
brigade, and in July, 1863, became ordnance officer of Battery 
Wagner, and continued so until the fall of that fort in Sep- 
tember, when he was ordered to the arsenal at Fayetteville, 
where he served as assistant to the commanding officer until 
the end of the war. On the day General Johnston surren- 


dered, Captain Ashe's chief, General Gorgas, at Charlotte, 
in the most appreciative terms gave him orders to join him 
across the Mississippi, but later told him he could go home, 
and govern himself according to circumstances. 

At the election in 1870, he was elected a representative 
from New Hanover and became a very active member of the 
legislature, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and leading 
member of the Judiciary and other committees. In 1874 he 
edited at Raleigh a daily paper, the Evening Crescent, which 
probably did more than any other one instrumentality in 
bringing about the redemption of the State, the Democratic 
majority that year being 12,000. In 1879 he purchased the 
Observer, and in 1881 he consolidated the News with it, 
founding the News and Observer, of which he was editor un- 
til 1894. In 1903 he became editor of a Biographical His- 
tory of North Carolina, of which seven volumes have been 
printed, and in 1908, his History of North Carolina (1584- 
1783) was published. 

Col. John Wilder Atkinson entered the service of the 
Confederate States in 1861 as captain of a volunteer company 
which was assigned as Company A, to the Fifteenth Virginia 
Infantry. With this regiment he took part in the action at 
Big Bethel in 1861, and at the battle of Seven Pines served 
on the staff of General McLaws, who took occasion to men- 
tion his services in his official report. He was then promoted 
to be major and transferred to the Nineteenth Virginia Regi- 
ment of Artillery, To this the Tenth Virginia was added 
in 1863, and he was promoted to colonel of the consolidated 
command. He took part in the Seven Days' campaign before 
Richmond, and subsequently remained on duty in the Rich- 
mond defenses, where he was, toward the last, in frequent 
and arduous service combating the Federal raids and defend- 
ing the city against regular siege. He took a prominent part 
in the defeat of the raider Dahlgren, and buried the body of 
that evil-minded man. For some time he was in command 
of a part of the defenses about the Confederate capital. His 
last battle was at Sailors Creek, where he was captured. 


Thence lie was taken to Johnsons Island, but was soon re- 
leased without taking the oath, through the influence of his 
kinsman, Gen. Winfield Scott. In 1866, Colonel Atkin- 
son made his home in Wilmington, where he recently died, 
leaving the heritage of an honored name. 

Capt. Edward H. Armstrong, of Xew Hanover. In 1862 
this brilliant student of the University at Chapel Hill 
was orderly sergeant of Company G, Third Regiment, IN'orth 
Carolina Troops. Very soon afterwards he was promoted to 
be second lieutenant of that company, and went through the 
Seven Days' fighting at Richmond, and with his regiment 
he participated in the battle of Sharpsburg with great credit 
and was made captain of the company, the captain, E. H. 
Rhodes, and Lieut. W. H. Quince, having been killed in 
that engagement. His subsequent career was conspicuous at 
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run, 
and he met a soldier's death at the Horse Shoe at Spottsyl- 
vania Courthouse, lamented by his comrades for his modest, 
beautiful character and for his soldierly qualities. It was 
said of him that he was fitted to command a division. Dur- 
ing the Gettysburg campaign, his shoes having worn out, he 
inarched barefooted. 

Louis S. Belden ran away as a youth and enlisted at the 
beginning of the war in Moore's battery Light Artillery, 
Tenth Regiment jSTorth Carolina Troops, which was, after 
Moore's promotion to be colonel of the Sixty-sixth Regiment, 
commanded by Capt. John Miller. Sergeant Belden remained 
with the battery until the end of the war, rendering at all 
times excellent service. On his return home destitute, but de- 
termined to make his way, he appeared in a suit of clothes 
which his sister had made of bedticking, the only available 
material, and he was not long in obtaining honorable employ- 
ment which led to comparative independence. He still re- 
tains, in his advanced years and in impaired health, the es- 
teem and confidence of the community. 

Charles P. Bolles had been employed on the Coast Survey 
by the United States Government for many years previous 


to the war, and was a man of marked ability. In April, 
1861, he was assigned to duty as an engineer, and constructed 
the first battery at Confederate Point, called in compliment 
to him, "Battery Bolles." For a year or more he was em- 
ployed with the engineers, and then transferred to the Fay- 
etteville Arsenal. His professional skill was exemplified in 
the preparation of bolts for Whitworth guns. An English 
firm presented a battery of Whitworth guns to the Confeder- 
ate Government through Colonel Lamb at Fort Fisher, by 
whom they were effectively used at long range against the 
blockaders and for the protection of the blockade runners. 
The guns were unfortunately received without ammunition 
or projectiles, and were worthless until Captain Bolles de- 
vised at the Fayetteville armory the peculiar bolts which 
were used as projectiles and for which he had no pattern. At 
the arsenal, he was captain of Company A, Sixth Battalion, 
Armory Guards. 

J. H, Boatwright was one of the Seed Corn cadets, of 
Charleston, S. C, when the order was issued by the hard- 
pressed Confederacy that boys under the military age would 
be permitted to go to the front and do a man's work. He 
was offered a lieutenancy at the age of seventeen, but his 
father declared that he was too young to command, and so he 
enlisted as a private in Company B, Citadel Guards. He 
saw service at Coosawhatchie, and at "Tulafinny," and in 
one of the engagements he was struck by a musket ball. His 
lieutenant, A. Coffin, hearing the bullet strike him, assisted 
in examining the wound, which was found to be the mutila- 
tion of a small Testament in young Boatwright's breast- 
pocket. The interesting bullet is still preserved by his family. 

A year or so afterwards he was sent home on sick leave, 
and he found Columbia sacked and burned, but his mother 
and sister safe. Governor McGraw sent for him and, inform- 
ing him that his secretary had taken fright and departed, 
offered young Boatvn-ight the position, which he promptly 
accepted. Later, when the Governor was arrested by the 
Federals, his secretary was not regarded as of sufficient im- 


portance to he placed under guard. This resulted in his 
taking charge of all the State archives, which he placed in 
an old vault, and he kept them in careful custody until after 
the war, when he delivered them to the first legislature. 

Gabriel J. Bonej, of Wilmington, enlisted in Company H 
of the Fortieth Regiment in March, 1864, at the age of eigh- 
teen, and he was on duty until the war was practically ended, 
completing his service in a northern prison. He was in the 
fight with the Federal gunboats at Fort Anderson, and at 
Town Creek, having been promoted to be corporal, was in 
command of twenty men on the line. He was also at Benton- 
ville, where the North Carolina soldiers made their last dem- 
onstration of heroic valor. Being captured by the enemy, 
he was transported to Point Lookout, Md., and confined until 
June 4, 1865. 

Lieut. Alexander Davidson Brown, a native of Scot- 
land, earnestly supported the cause of the State during the 
great war, and for four years wore the Confederate gray. 
Although he came to Wilmington as late as 1860, in April, 
1861, he enlisted as a private in the artillery company of 
Capt. James D. Cumming, known as Battery C, of the Thir- 
teenth Battalion. In this gallant command he was succes- 
sively promoted to corporal and lieutenant. During his 
military career he participated in the fighting at New Bern 
and on the Petersburg lines in numerous engagements, and 
took part in the desperate encounters on the retreat from 
Petersburg, and at Appomattox Courthouse previous to the 

Thomas O. Bunting enlisted in the Twentieth North Caro- 
lina Infantry in May, 1861, though only about sixteen years 
of age, but in July following withdrew and entered the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, where he studied one year. Ee- 
turning to the Confederate service he became a private in 
Company C, of the Sixty-third Regiment, or Fifth Cavalry, 
and shared the subsequent gallant career of this command, 
taking part in the engagements at White HaU and Goldsboro 


in 1862, and then, in Virginia, under the leadership of Baker, 
Gordon, Barringer, Hampton, and Stuart, meeting the enemy 
on many a field. On April 3, 1865, at Namozine church he 
was captured by the Federals, and was confined at Point 
Lookout until June 28th. Throughout his gallant career he 
was once seriously wounded, receiving a shot through the 
ankle on the Ground Squirrel Road near Petersburg, which 
disabled him for three months. 

Samuel E. Bunting was captain of Company I, Tenth 
Regiment State Troops, Light Artillery, which was organized 
at Wilmington in May, 1861. This company served at first 
as coast guard at Wrightsville and Masonboro Sounds, and in 
March, 1862, moved to Kinston and saw active service in that 
vicinity, then returned to Fort Fisher. After the fall of Fort 
Fisher and the evacuation of Wilmington, the regiment joined 
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and fought and surrendered with 

Bunting's Battery was engaged for three days at Spring 
Bank, and lost nineteen men killed and wounded. 

James G. Burr was colonel of the Seventh Regiment, Home 
Guards, but did not see actual service in the field. 

Thomas Jefferson Capps was a private in Company E, 
Third ISTorth Carolina Infantry, and was in charge of the 
field ambulances at the battle of Chancellorsville when a 
captain ordered him to go to the front, which he refused to 
do because he was under Dr. McRee's orders and could not 
leave his post. Finally the officer reluctantly told him that 
Stonewall Jackson was wounded and required immediate at- 
tention, but he must act with great secrecy. Mr. Capps then 
drove his ambulance down the road under heavy fire, lifted 
the General into his ambulance and brought him from the 
field. He was kept under guard all night in order to prevent 
the possibility of conveying the distressing news, and thereby 
demoralizing the troops. 

Robert E. Calder was elected lieutenant of Company B 
(of Wilson County), which was part of the Second Regiment. 


Wten Colonel Cantwell was ordered to have Fort Caswell 
evacuated in January, 1861, he was accompanied bv R. E. 
Calder, acting adjutant, and Wm. Calder, acting quarter- 

Lieut. William Calder was born in Wilmington, May 5, 
1844. In 1859 he entered the military academy at Hills- 
boro and left there in May, 1861, having been appointed drill- 
master by Governor Ellis, and assigned to the camp of in- 
struction at Raleigh. Upon the organization of the first ten 
regiments of State Troops he was commissioned a second lieu- 
tenant of the Third Regiment. He served as drillmaster at 
Garysburg about four months, and was then transferred to 
the Second Regiment of Infantry as second lieutenant of 
Company K. With this command he participated in the 
Seven Days' campaign about Richmond ; and at Malvern Hill 
he was wounded in the left thigh, causing a disability that 
continued until after the battle of Sharpsburg. He was in 
battle at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and in most of 
the engagements of Jackson's and Ewell's corps ; and during 
the three days' fighting at Gettysburg he was in command of 
the sharpshooters of Ramseur's brigade. On the return to 
Orange Courthouse he was appointed adjutant of the First 
]^orth Carolina Battalion, heavy artillery, and subsequently 
was on duty with this command at Fort Caswell, until that 
post was evacuated. He was in the battles at Fort Anderson, 
Town Creek, and Kinston, and at the battle of Bentonville he 
served as acting assistant adjutant general on the staff of 
Colonel !N"ethercutt, commanding the brigade of Junior Re- 
serves. From that time until the end of hostilities he was 
with his artillery battalion in outpost duty on the upper 
Cape Fear River. 

James Carmichael, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, 
Wilmington, was devoted to the Confederate cause during the 
great struggle. He was compelled to retire from his studies 
at the Alexandria Theological Seminary by the advance of 
the invading armies, in 1861. In May of that year he was 


commissioned chaplain of the Thirtieth Virginia Infantry, 
and he was with this command in the field of duty until the 
spring of 1862, when he was disabled by lung trouble and 
was sent on furlough to Greensboro, ]^. C. There he re- 
mained, unfit for duty, until ISTovember following, when, at 
the request of Dr. James L. Cabell, post surgeon at Danville, 
he was assigned as post chaplain at the latter place. In this 
capacity he served until July 3, 1865. 

Anthony D. Cazaux, a well known citizen of Wilmington, 
was appointed captain and assistant quartermaster of the 
Eighteenth Regiment, North Carolina Troops. The Eigh- 
teenth Regiment was part of the Branch-Lane Brigade, 
and Captain Cazaux acted as one of its quartermasters. 
This brigade took part in active service in Virginia through- 
out the war and fought with such signal bravery that it at- 
tracted the special attention of General Lee, and a ISTorthern 
military historian said of it, in serio-comic vein, "If Lane's 
brigade had remained at home many New England regiments 
would have been happier. It is admitted here that Lane's 
boys were a bad, quarrelsome set of fellows and too fond of 
a fight altogether." 

Columbus L. Chestnutt was appointed assistant quarter- 
master of the Thirteenth Battalion, which was organized 
December 1, 1863. 

John Cowan joined the Wilmington Rifle Guards, (after- 
wards Company I, Eighteenth Regiment) and took part in 
the original capture of Fort Caswell by order of Governor 
Ellis. After a few months he was promoted to lieutenant of 
Company D, Third North Carolina Regiment of Infantry. 

He was present at Fredericksburg, Chancellors ville, and 
various other battles, and served through the Gettysburg cam- 
paign. Once, in the absence of Captain Van Bokkelen, he 
was left with his company to hold a line which had been 
captured the evening before, and he defended his position 
with great tenacity and held it until he was ordered out. At 
Spottsylvania he was captured, along with the entire brigade, 


and sent to Fort Delaware. Subsequently he was placed 
under fire at Morris Island, after which he was returned to 
Fort Delaware, where he remained until the end of the war. 
During all his life Captain Cowan was exceedingly kind 
to the sailors of this port. He became one of the trustees of 
the Seamen's Friend Society, and never failed to be present 
at the Bethel meeting on Sunday afternoons. 

The following tribute by a fellow citizen, on the occasion 
of a memorial meeting after his death, illustrates the char- 
acter of this highly esteemed Cape Fear gentleman : 

"We are called today to add the honored name of John 
Cowan to the long roll of the majority, and to pay our tribute 
of respect to the memory of one of the few members of our 
society who was faithful unto death. 

"For years he has sat with us here during our Sabbath 
service, inspiring us by his devout attention and unswerving 
loyalty with more zeal in our sacred cause and uniting our 
handful of supporters in a closer bond of union and sympathy 
with the thousands of seafaring men, who, ^like ships that 
pass in the night and speak each other in passing,' have heard 
the friendly warning voice of our preacher and vanished 
from our sight. His beaming face, full of sympathetic cour- 
tesy, will be sadly missed in our assemblies. 

"Like the great leader in the wilderness, whose presence 
reflected the glory of his God, he wist not that his face so 
shone. That face so deeply lined of late by weariness and 
pain is, I believe, radiant now in the presence of Him with 
whom there is fullness of joy. Buffeted by the storms of life, 
and disabled by disease and suffering, this sailors' friend has 
met his great Pilot and cast his anchor within the haven of 
eternal rest. 

"His eminent public service as a soldier of the Confeder- 
acy is a part of its history. His native modesty forbade the 
mention by him of his heroic deeds, but who of you will for- 
get the valor of that thin line of twenty-five muskets, the 
remnant of his shattered but intrepid command, which held 


an overwhelming force in check at Gettysburg? When he 
surrendered his sword at 'the bloody angle' he retained that 
invisible armor for the good fight of faith from which he has 
come off more than conqueror through Him that loved him 
and gave Himself for him. 

"I am requested by our late chaplain, the Eev. Dr. James 
Carmichael, who could not be present with us today, to add 
his loving testimony to the work and faith of our dead com- 
rade, who for many years encouraged and sustained him as 
a co-laborer at the Bethel service. He mourns with us the 
loss of one of the truest friends and supporters whom this 
Society has ever known." 

Wm. A. Gumming joined the famous Third Regiment, the 
record of which has been given in several sketches, and, about 
a year later, after a fatiguing day's march, he was exposed 
all night to a soaking rain, which brought on an attack of 
rheumatism. He was sent to the hospital and, deriving no 
benefit, was later sent home so emaciated that his father did 
not at first recognize him. Later, he returned to the Army, 
but he never fully recovered his health, and he was given a 
commission in the Commissary Department, in which he re- 
mained during the war. He never recovered from the first 
exposure in the field and died after the war from rheuma- 
tism, which attacked his heart. He had many warm friends 
in the Third North Carolina Infantry and in civil life, for 
he was a kindly, unselfish. Christian gentleman, of fine pres- 
ence and old-time urbanity. 

Preston Cumming, a survivor of the Cape Fear Artillery, 
enlisted in October, 1861, as a private in the artillery com- 
pany commanded by his brother, James D. Cumming, and 
known as Cumming's battery, or Cape Fear Artillery. 
During his service he was promoted to sergeant, participated 
in the fighting on the Petersburg lines several months, and 
was in the battles of Washington, Kinston, and Bentonville, 
and finally surrendered with Johnston at Greensboro. 

James D. Cumming was second lieutenant of one of the 


companies that took possession of Fort Johnston and Fort 
Caswell at the outbreak of the war. The Company was as- 
signed soon after to the defense of Confederate Point, and in 
April, 1862, was reorganized, with Lieutenant Gumming as 
captain. A battery of field artillery was provided for it, and 
it bore the name of Cumming's battery. It became part of 
the Thirteenth Battalion in December, 1863. In May, 1864, 
a section of it was ordered to Petersburg, Va., and assigned to 
Moseley's battalion of artillery. The battery, therefore, gave 
active service to the Confederacy both in Virginia and in east- 
ern North Carolina. 

Roger Cutlar, a brother of DuBrutz Cutlar, served through- 
out the war in Moore's battery. After the war he moved to 
California. He was a courageous and gallant soldier. 

Champ T. E". Davis: Among the officers of Company G, 
Sixteenth Regiment, on its organization June IT, 1861, ap- 
pears the name of Capt. C. T. jN". Davis, of Rutherford 
County. The Sixteenth was ordered to Virginia soon after 
its mobilization, proceeded to Valley Mountain, and assisted 
in holding the gap against the Federals under General Rose- 
crans. Afterwards it was attached to Hampton's legion 
around Fredericksburg and Yorktown, where it was reorgan- 
ized, and Captain Davis elected its colonel. At the battle of 
Seven Pines the regiment was exposed to a galling fire from 
several Federal batteries and lost some of its bravest and best 
officers and men, among whom was the gallant Colonel Davis. 

Graham Daves was appointed private secretary to Gov- 
ernor Ellis on January 1, 1859, and held that position until 
the outbreak of the War between the States. He then joined 
the Army as first lieutenant of the Twelfth Volunteers, Col. 
J. Johnston PettigTew, afterward known as the Twenty- 
second Regiment, North Carolina Troops, of which he was 
appointed adjutant, July 24, 1861. With this regiment he 
served until April, 1862, being on duty at different times at 
Raleigh, Richmond, and Brooke Station, Va., but most of 
the time at Evansport, now called Quantico, where the regi- 


ment was employed in erecting batteries, which some of the 
companies occupied and served. These were the batteries 
that so long blockaded the Potomac Kiver at that point. 
Lieutenant Daves having resigned his commission on Novem- 
ber 16, 1863, was enrolled as a private and assigned to duty 
in the conscript office, Ealeigh, where he remained until July, 
1864. He served in various other positions until the surren- 
der of General Johnston's army to General Sherman near 

Junius Davis, born June 17, 1845, was a son of George 
Davis and his first wife, Mary Polk. He was in school at 
Bingham's Institute in Alamance County when North Caro- 
lina decided to cast her lot with the Confederate States, and in 
the spring of 1863, being nearly eighteen years of age, he 
left his books to enter the military service. He enlisted as a 
private in Battery C, Third Battalion, North Carolina Ar- 
tillery, Capt. J. G. Moore, and served until the close of the 
war. For nearly a year he was about Petersburg, and was 
in the battles of Drewry's Bluff and Bermuda Hundred, and 
of Fort Harrison lines. In the last day's fight at Petersburg 
he was slightly wounded, but continued on duty during the 
retreat. The battery being at first a part of the rear guard 
was almost constantly engaged and was roughly handled ; but 
later it became a part of the van, and at the end, Corporal 
Davis and a small squad escaped without surrendering. In 
civil life, Mr. Davis has well worn the mantle of his dis- 
tinguished father. 

Horatio Davis, a half-brother of Mr. Geo. Davis, served in 
the Confederate Army and later became a judge in Virginia, 
and finally moved to Florida. He was a brave and fearless 

Armand L. DeEosset was elected captain of Company B 
at the formation of the Sixth Battalion, called the Armory 
Guards, which was stationed at the Fayetteville Arsenal and 
Armory during the War between the States. 

Moses John DeRosset was on duty as surgeon in the hos- 


pitals at Richmond in 1861, and became surgeon of the Fiftj- 
sixth Eegiment on its organization in the summer of 1862. 
Dr. DeRosset stood high in his profession, having taken a 
course in Europe and being besides an accomplished French 
and German scholar. 

Edward B. Dudley was captain of Company D, Anderson 
Artillery, of the Thirty-sixth Regiment. This regiment was 
stationed at various points of defense along the Cape Fear. 
On November 22, 1864, Captain Dudley was sent with his 
company and others under Maj. James M. Stevenson to 
Georgia to join the Confederate forces opposing Sherman's 
advance to Savannah. Later he returned to Fort Fisher and 
performed his part in the epic defense. 

Guilford L. Dudley: The First Regiment was organized 
near Warrenton in the spring of 1861. G. L. Dudley was 
appointed one of the two quartermasters, and was second 
lieutenant of Company E, First Regiment. He served with 
distinction throughout the Seven Days' Battles, the South 
Mountain campaign, and at Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, 
Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and in other battles. The 
last volley fired by the Army of Northern Virginia was fired 
by N'orth Carolina troops, and the First Regiment was among 
the number. 

Charles D. Ellis : Shortly after the outbreak of the war the 
Legislature of ISTorth Carolina, cooperating with the Confed- 
erate Government in defending the entrance of the Cape Fear 
River and Wilmington, passed an act authorizing the forma- 
tion of a battalion of heavy artillery (Ninth Battalion Heavy 
Artillery), to be composed of three companies, to man the 
defenses constructed for the protection of the harbor and 
the shores close to the Cape Fear bar. 

The second company (Company B) was organized by Capt. 
Charles D. Ellis, and its members were mostly from Bruns- 
wick, Duplin, and other counties near New Hanover. Cap- 
tain Ellis, however, resigned October, 1862, and was suc- 
ceeded by Capt. Jacob W. Taylor. In 1863, the three com- 


panies were organized into what was known thereafter as the 
First Battalion of Heavy Artillery. 

Z, Ellis was one of the three lieutenants in Company B — 
raised by C. D. Ellis — and he served with this company 
throughout the war. 

Henry G. Flanner was originally second lieutenant in 
Company F, Thirteenth Battalion. A section of this company 
served in the winter of 1863-64 and spring of 1864 attached 
to MacRae's (Tenth) battalion in western North Carolina. 
This battery, under Capt. H. G. Flanner, was ordered to 
Virginia in 1862, and served continuously, with the above ex- 
ception, in General Lee's army. It served on the lines around 
Petersburg with great credit. It surrendered at Appomattox. 
Flanner's battery is entitled to the credit of preventing 
the Federal Army from entering Petersburg on the morning 
of the springing of the mine (July 29th). 

Capt. Owen Fennell entered the Confederate service as 
second lieutenant of Company C, First Regiment, under Col. 
M, S. Stokes, in June, 1861. The regiment did good service 
during the Seven Days' campaign around Richmond and in 
the Maryland campaign, and Lieutenant Fennell shared its 
marching and fighting until just after the battle of Sharps- 
burg, when he was made acting assistant commissary of sub- 
sistence, with the rank of captain. He continued in this 
service until the office was abolished after the Gettysburg 

William Henry Green entered the service as a private in 
the Branch Artillery, Capt. A. C. Latham, in July, 1862. 
In the following year he was detailed as sergeant major of 
the battalion of Maj. J. C. Haskell, to which Latham's 
battery was attached, and he served in this capacity during 
the remainder of the war. He had an active career as artil- 
leryman, participating in the famous battles of Cedar Run, 
Second Manassas, Chantilly, Warrenton Springs, Fredericks- 
burg, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, and Second Cold Harbor, 
and throughout the siege of Petersburg and the retreat to 
Appomattox, where he was paroled. 


Maj. Edward Joseph Hale volunteered as a private in 
the Bethel Eegiment, of which D. H. Hill was colonel, the 
day after Lincoln's proclamation calling for troops. He was 
in the first pitched battle at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861. 
When that regiment was disbanded Governor Clark appointed 
him a second lieutenant of ISTorth Carolina Troops. In 1862 
he was appointed first lieutenant and adjutant, and assigned 
to duty with the Fifty-sixth North Carolina Eegiment, 
Ransom's brigade. He participated in all the engagements 
of that command in Virginia and eastern ]N'orth Carolina, 
and distinguished himself for his coolness and bravery. 
Though little over twenty-one years of age, General Long- 
street recognized his ability and appointed him judge-advo- 
cate of the department of court-martial. His ability, fighting 
record, and general qualifications were known to Brigadier- 
General Lane, and that ofiicer, after the death of Capt. 
George B. Johnston, tendered him the position of adjutant 
general of his brigade of veterans in the fall of 1863. Cap- 
tain Hale displayed such strong character in the conduct of 
his duties that before the close of the terrific campaign of 
1864 he was the idol of the troops. His behavior on the 
battlefield was extraordinarily cool and courageous. In the 
Wilderness, at Spottsylvania, and Turkey Eidge; in many 
battles before Petersburg, after Grant had crossed to the south 
side of the James; at Deep Bottom, Gravelly Hill, Eiddle's 
Shop, and Fussell's Mill ; at Eeams Station ; in the battles of 
the 2d of April, 1865, in the morning, and later at Battery 
Gregg and Battery 45 ; at Amelia Courthouse, Farmville 
and other engagements on the retreat to Appomattox, he dis- 
tinguished himself and acted with conspicuous gallantry. ISTot 
long before the close of the war a remarkable tribute was paid 
to Captain Hale's bravery and skill. Upon the petition of 
the major commanding the Twenty-eighth North Carolina 
Eegiment and all of its officers present, he was recommended 
by his brigade, division, and corps commanders for the 
colonelcy of that regiment because of conspicuous gallantry 
and merit. Later, he was appointed major on the staff. 


B. Frank Hall served throughout the war as a member of 
the Duplin Kifles, or Company A of the Forty-third Eegi- 
ment, North Carolina Infantry. He entered the service as 
a private, but soon rose to the rank of first sergeant. Ser- 
geant Hall was on duty with his regiment in Daniel's bri- 
gade during the Seven Days' campaign before Richmond, 
was under fire at Malvern Hill, and afterwards at Drewry's 
Bluff and Suffolk, and from December, 1862, to June, 1863, 
he was on duty in North Carolina, participating in the affair 
at Deep Gulley. He took part in the terrific fight of July 
1st at Seminary Ridge, and the next two days of the Gettys- 
burg battles, and in the affair at Hagerstown, on the retreat 
from Pennsylvania. Subsequently being attached to Hoke's 
brigade, he served in North Carolina at the battle of Bach- 
elors Creek, the siege and capture of Plymouth, and the 
skirmishes before New Bern. Returning thence to Virginia, 
he participated in the battle of Hanover Junction, Bethesda 
Church, in 1864; and in the spring of 1865 he took part in 
the assault upon the Federal works at Hare's Hill, March 
25th. On the morning of April 2d, prior to the evacuation of 
Petersburg, he was in command of a squad of twelve men, 
which, with a similar squad from the Forty-fifth, entered 
Fort Mahone, then in the hands of the enemy, capturing 100 
prisoners, and he aided effectively in the gallant fighting 
which forced the Federals from the lines. During the re- 
treat Sergeant Hall was in the battle at Sailor's Creek; and 
at Appomattox, Sunday morning, he joined in the last as- 
sault upon the enemy. 

Dr. William White Harriss was born in 1824 and was 
graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1842. 
He entered the Confederate service as surgeon of the Sixty- 
first Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, and was on duty 
chiefly around Charleston. In 1863 General Whiting ap- 
pointed him surgeon of the "City Garrison" at Wilmington, 
where he remained until the surrender. When Wilmington 
was evacuated he was appointed by General Bragg to remain 


as surgeon to take care of the sick and wounded Confederate 

Maj. Gabriel H. Hill, son of Dr. John Hill of Kendal, 
appointed a lieutenant in the U. S. Army in 1855, came home 
and served with high distinction at the battle of Eoanoke 
Island, and afterwards served across the Mississippi. He was 
a very fine officer. After the war he lived in Virginia. 

Lieut. John Hampden Hill enlisted early in the win- 
ter of 1863, at Smithville, ^N". C, in Company H, Fortieth 
Eegiment, and was commissioned second lieutenant by Gov- 
ernor Vance. With this command he was at Fort Anderson 
during the bombardment, and in the battles of Tom's Creek, 
Wilmington, Northeast River, Wise's Fork, near Kinston, 
and Bentonville, receiving a wound in the left leg in the last 

Thomas Hill, M.D., entered the Confederate service in 
April, 1861. He was commissioned assistant surgeon, Con- 
federate States Army, in July, 1861, and from that date until 
March, 1862, was in charge of the general hospital of the 
army at Fredericksburg, Va. Subsequently he was in charge 
of the general hospital at Goldsboro until May, 1862, when 
he was promoted surgeon in the Confederate Army and ap- 
pointed to the presidency of the medical examining board at 
Raleigh ; he was also put in charge of General Hospital ISTo. 
8, at Raleigh, the building now known as Peace Institute. 
Remaining there until April, 1864, he was then assigned as 
surgeon to the Fortieth Eegiment, ITorth Carolina Troops, 
and in December following was appointed chief surgeon of 
the ]^orth Carolina Reserves, on the staff of General Holmes. 
After this distinguished career, which was brought to a close 
by the surrender at Greensboro, he resumed the practice of 
his profession, 

Lieut. George W. Huggins was mustered into military 
service as a private in the Wilmington Rifle Guards, in April, 
1861, which was later assigned as Company I to the Eighth 
(Eighteenth) IN'orth Carolina Regiment, one of the volunteer 
regiments of the State first organized. Private Huggins was 


promoted to first corporal in September, 1861, and to second 
lieutenant in April, 1862. With his regiment, in the Army of 
Northern Virginia, he took part in the battles of Hanover 
Courthouse, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Eraser's Farm, 
and Malvern Hill. At the close of the bloody Seven Days' 
struggle before Richmond, at Harrison's Landing, he re- 
ceived a severe vs^ound in the foot, which disabled him until 
July, 1863. He then returned to his regiment in Virginia, 
but was detailed for duty in the Quartermaster's Department 
at Wilmington, where he remained until the city was evacu- 
ated, when he made his way to Johnston's army and was pa- 
roled with it at Greensboro. 

James B. Huggins was second lieutenant of Company G, 
Thirteenth Battalion, and was later assigned to service in the 
Quartermaster's and Paymaster's Departments, with the rank 
of captain. 

John Christopher James entered the Confederate service 
in 1863 at the age of sixteen in Company B, Third Junior 
Reserves, afterwards the Seventy-second Regiment, ISTorth 
Carolina Troops, Colonel Hinsdale commanding. He was 
made orderly sergeant of Company D, under Captain Kerr, 
and later commissioned third lieutenant, and served in the 
first bombardment of Fort Fisher, in the engagement at Kins- 
ton, ]Sr. C. (Hoke's division), and also at the battle of Ben- 
tonville, IST. C. He surrendered with General Johnston's 
army at Bush Hill, N. C, April 26, 1865, and was paroled 
with his regiment, May 2, 1865. 

He possessed in common with his brother Theodore, to 
whom eloquent reference was made in Capt. John Cowan's 
and Capt. Jas. I. Metts' sketch of the Third Regiment, a 
most attractive personality; and in his devoted, useful life 
were blended the finest characteristics of the old time South- 
ern gentleman. Beloved by all who knew him, his memory 
still lives in the hearts of his friends. 

Theo. C. James was an adjutant in the Third Regiment. 
In writing of him Captain Cowan and Captain Metts say: 
"Adjutant Theo. C. James has also crossed the narrow stream 


of death. Our pen falters when we attempt to pay tribute to 
his memory ; companion of our youth, friend of our manhood. 
For him to espouse a cause was to make it a part of his very 
self. Intrepid, no more courageous soldier trod the soil of 
any battlefield upon which the Army of Northern Virginia 
encountered a foe. The impulses of his nature were magnan- 
imous; no groveling thoughts unbalanced the equity of his 
judgment. True to his friends and to principle, he re- 
mained as 

'Constant as the Northern Star 

Of whose true, fixt and resting quality 

There is no fellow in the firmament.' 

Leaving his right arm upon a battlefield in Virginia, and ex- 
empt for that cause from further military duty, he disdained 
any privilege which such disability brought to him, but con- 
tinued in active serice until the last shot had been fired, 'arms 
stacked' forever." 

Stephen Jewett, when sixteen years of age, joined the 
Forty-fourth Georgia Eegiment of Infantry, near Eichmond, 
July 1, 1862, just after the Seven Days' Battles. It was in 
Eipley's brigade. He served with that regiment until May 
10, 1864, never missing a day's service, skirmish, or battle 
in whicb his regiment participated. He was in the engage- 
ments at South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chan- 
cellorsville, Warrenton Springs, Morton's Ford, the Wilder- 
ness, Gettysburg, and Spottsylvania, where he was captured, 
May 10, 1864, and taken to Fort Delaware. He remained 
a prisoner of war until March 10, 1865, when he was sent 
back to Eichmond on parole, and was on parole furlough when 
the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia ended the 
war. He entered the Army as a private when he could 
scarcely carry a musket and he continued to serve throughout 
the war in that capacity with ever increasing efficiency. 
Steadfastness, tenacity of purpose, cheerfulness in his devo- 
tion to duty, a high sense of integrity, have marked his career 
from boyhood to comparatively old age. 

J. Pembroke Jones, a prominent officer in the U. S. Na'vy, 


resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Kavy. 
He was first lieutenant commanding on the ironclad sloop- 
of-war Raleigh, which carried four guns, and which attacked 
and broke the Cape Fear blockade. He served with distinc- 
tion in several departments of the Confederate N"avy, and 
after the war was employed by the Argentine Eepublic 
upon important military defenses. 

Capt. William Eand Kenan enlisted as a private in the 
Forty-third Eegiment in November, 1863, while attending the 
University of l^orth Carolina. He was at once detailed as 
sergeant major. In May and June, 1864, he was acting 
adjutant of his regiment, and after that, on account of his 
gallantry at the battle of Bethesda Church, he was ordered by 
General Grimes to take command of the sharpshooters from 
his regiment, with the rank of acting lieutenant. While 
serving in this capacity he was shot through the body in the 
fight at Charles Town, in the Shenandoah Valley, August 22, 
1864, which compelled him to remain at home sixty days. On 
recovery, he was assigned to the command of Company E, 
Forty-third Eegiment, by Colonel Winston, who sent in an 
application for his promotion to second lieutenant on account 
of distinguished gallantry. This bore the warm endorsement 
of General Grimes and was approved by General Early. 
After three weeks' service in command of Company E, he 
was appointed adjutant of the regiment, the rank which he 
held to the close of hostilities. Among the battles and skir- 
mishes in which he was engaged were the following: Ply- 
mouth, N". C, Drewry's Bluff, Bethesda Church, Gaines' Mill, 
Cold Harbor, Harper's Ferry, Monocacy, Md., Washington, 
D. C, Snicker's Ford, Kernstown, Winchester, Hare's Hill, 
Petersburg, Sailors Creek, Farmville, and Appomattox 

George W. Kidder was a lieutenant in Company A, First 
iN'orth Carolina Battalion, until he resigned in 1862 or 1863. 

Charles Humphrey King entered service in the Wilming- 
ton Eifle Guards, in April, 1861, serving in the occupation of 


Fort Caswell. The company was assigned to the Eighth Eegi- 
ment, North Carolina Infantry, and he continued with it, 
earning promotion to corporal and fourth sergeant, until 
June, 1862, when the period of enlistment expired. He then 
became a private trooper in the Scotland Neck Rifles ; and 
eight or ten months later he was transferred to the Sixty-first 
Eegiment, North Carolina Infantry, as quartermaster ser- 
geant. He was on duty with this command until the surren- 
der of Johnston's army. 

Lieut. William Emmett Kyle enlisted among the ear- 
liest volunteers in the famous First Regiment of Volunteers, 
under Col. D. H. Hill, and shared the service of that com- 
mand at Big Bethel. After the disbandment of that regi- 
ment, he entered the Fifty-second Regiment of State Troops, 
and was commissioned lieutenant of Company B. With this 
regiment, in Pettigrew's brigade, he participated as a part 
of the Army of Northern Virginia, and fought at Franklin, 
Hanover Junction, Gettysburg, Hagerstown, Falling Waters, 
Bristow Station, Culpeper, Mine Run, the AVilderness, Spott- 
sylvania Courthouse, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Drewry's 
Bluff, Hatcher's Run, Southerland's Station, Reams' Station, 
Amelia Courthouse, and Farmville, and he surrendered at 
Appomattox, April 9, 1865. Lieutenant Kyle was wounded 
three times — at Gettysburg, Spottsylvania Courthouse, and 
Petersburg — in the head, hip, and leg; and he was taken 
prisoner at Petersburg, but managed to escape a few hours 
later. At the time of the surrender at Appomattox he was in 
command of the sharpshooters of MacRae's brigade. 

Col. William Lamb was elected colonel of the Thirty- 
sixth Regiment, which was composed of ten companies, and 
served in the defense of Cape Fear. On July 4, 1862, he 
relieved Major Hedrick of the command of Fort Fisher, 
which was greatly enlarged by Colonel Lamb. Colonel Lamb 
was wounded and captured in the second attack on Fort 
Fisher. A comrade, in writing of him, says: "One of the 
most lovable men in existence, a fine, dashing young Confed- 
erate officer, and a firm friend of the blockade runners." 


Colonel Lamb did distinguished service in the defense of the 
Cape Fear section. 

John R. Latta was adjutant of the Fifty-first North Caro- 
lina Regiment, which was organized at Wilmington, April 
13, 1862, and went into camp near Wilmington, occupying 
various camps near the city and at Smithville. About De- 
cember 1st, after being employed on picket duty and on va- 
rious scouting expeditions to points near ]^ew Bern, the 
regiment returned to Wilmington, but soon afterwards it was 
ordered to Goldsboro, and was under fire for the first time 
near that place (IvTeuse River Bridge) when it engaged the 
enemy on December 17th. After this engagement the regi- 
ment returned to Wilmington, where it remained during the 

About the 18th of February, 1863, the Fifty-first Regi- 
ment was ordered to Charleston, and thence to Savannah. 
But after a few days at the latter point, it was again ordered 
to Charleston and camped on James Island. It returned to 
Wilmington on May 1st. When the enemy began active 
operations against Charleston about July Ist, the regiment 
was sent to Morris Island as a garrison for Battery Wagner. 
There it was almost continuously exposed to the sharp shoot- 
ing and cannonading of the enemy until the 18th. Remain- 
ing at Charleston until November 24, during which time the 
Fifty-first did its share of the garrisoning at Battery Wagner, 
it returned to North Carolina, going to Tarboro by rail and 
marching to Williamston; and it was stationed at Foster's 
Mill in Martin County. On December 13th it returned to 
Tarboro, where it remained until January 5, 1864, going 
thence to Petersburg, Va. Later, in January, the regiment 
returned to North Carolina, marching on New Bern, and 
engaged in a sharp skirmish at Bachelors Creek, driving the 
enemy from their position and pushing them into New Bern. 

Returning to Petersburg about April 1st, the regiment was 
ordered to Ivor Station and marched on Suffolk, returning 
to Petersburg about the first of May, when it occupied Dunlop 


Farm, about four miles distant, in the direction of Richmond. 
On May 12th, the Fifty-first marched to Drewry's Bluff, and 
on the 18th and 19th to Cold Harbor, where on June 1st the 
battle of Cold Harbor was fought. 

From August 19th to December 24th the Fifty-first Regi- 
ment was engaged in meeting a raiding party operating on 
the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, and in assaulting Fort 
Harrison ; after which it received marching orders and pro- 
ceeded to North Carolina, where it was needed on account 
of Butler's threatening Fort Fisher. After the fall of Fort 
Fisher the regiment was taken by rail to Kinston, where it 
engaged in three days' fighting, March 7, 8, and 9, 1865. 
The advance of the enemy from Wilmington and the near 
approach of Sherman's army from Fayetteville caused its 
withdrawal from Kinston, and orders were given to proceed 
to Bentonville where the Confederate forces met and checked 
Sherman. The regiment surrendered with Johnston's army 
at Bush Hill, and was paroled May 2, 1865, to return home. 
Adjutant Latta was with the regiment from the beginning 
to the end, without once returning home, having participated 
in the campaigns mentioned above. 

Lewis Leon, a well known resident of Wilmington and a 
veteran of the Confederate States service, was born in Meck- 
lenburg, Germany, iN'ovember 27, 1841. Three years later 
he was brought by his parents to New York City, whence he 
moved to Charlotte in 1858, and engaged in mercantile pur- 
suits as a clerk. Becoming a member of the Charlotte Grays, 
he entered the active service of that command, going to the 
camp of instruction at Raleigh on April 21, 1861. The 
Grays were assigned to Col. D. H. Hill's regiment, the First, 
as Company C, and took part in the battle of Big Bethel, 
in which Private Leon was a participant. At the expiration 
of the six months' enlistment of the Bethel Regiment, he 
reenlisted in Company B, Capt. Harvey White, of the 
Fifty-first Regiment, commanded by Col. William Owen. 
He shared the service of this regiment in its subsequent hon- 


orable career, fighting at Gettysburg, Bristow Station, Mine 
Kun, and the Wilderness, receiving a slight wound at Gettys- 
burg, but not allowing it to interfere with his duty. During 
the larger part of his service he was a sharpshooter. 

On the 5th or 6th of May, 1864, the sharpshooters of his 
regiment were much annoyed by one of the Federal sharp- 
shooters who had a long range rifle and who had climbed up a 
tall tree, from which he could pick off the men, though shel- 
tered by stumps and stones, himself out of range of their guns. 
Private Leon concluded that "this thing had to be stopped," 
and taking advantage of every knoll, hollow, and stump, ^ he 
crawled near enough for his rifle to reach, and took a "pop" at 
this disturber of the peace, who came tumbling down. Upon 
running up to his victim, Leon discovered him to be a 
Canadian Indian, and clutching his scalp-lock, he dragged 
him back to the Confederate line. 

At the battle of the Wilderness he was captured, and from 
that time until June, 1865, he was a prisoner of war at Point 
Lookout and Elmira, 1^. Y. Upon being paroled he visited 
his parents in New York City, and then worked his way back 
to North Carolina. He is warmly regarded by his comrades 
of Cape Pear Camp, U. C. V., and has served several terms 
as its adjutant. When Col. James T. Morehead prepared a 
sketch of his regiment, the Pifty-third, Private Leon fur- 
nished him with a copy of a diary which he had kept from the 
organization of the regiment up to the 5th of May, 1864, 
when he was captured. 

Kichard P. Langdon was one of the second lieutenants of 
Company E (New Hanover County), Pirst Regiment North 
Carolina Troops, and was subsequently appointed captain and 
quartermaster of the Third North Carolina Infantry. 

Capt. Thomas C. Lewis became a member of the Wil- 
mington Eifle Guards and went on duty with that organiza- 
tion early in the conflict. When it became Company I of the 
Eighth Regiment he was appointed a sergeant, and after the 
relnlistment in 1862 he served as quartermaster sergeant 


until the battle of Second Manassas, when he became second 
lieutenant of his company. At this battle he received a 
severe wound in the hip which disabled him for half a year. 
Upon rejoining his command he was promoted to be captain. 
He served with his company until he was captured in the 
disaster to Johnson's division at Spottsylvania Courthouse. 
He was confined at Fort Delaware, and shared the bitter ex- 
perience of the 500 officers held under fire at Morris Island, 
and he was not released until June, 1865. It is much to 
the credit of Captain Lewis' memory that although efforts 
■were made by his Northern kinsmen to induce him to take 
the oath of allegiance while he was a prisoner at Fort Dela- 
ware, he manfully refused and remained a prisoner of war 
until the final surrender. 

Capt. J. W. Lippitt was captain of Company G, Fifty- 
first Regiment, North Carolina Troops, and commanded the 
regiment at the surrender at Bush Hill, N. C. 

Maj. Charles W. McClammy joined a cavalry company 
commanded by Captain Newkirk at the beginning of hostili- 
ties in 1861, and was elected lieutenant of this organization. 
This company did good service in eastern North Carolina, 
among its achievements being the capture of a gunboat of 
the enemy which had grounded in New Eiver in Onslow 
County. Upon the resignation of Captain Newkirk, Lieu- 
tenant McClammy was promoted to the captaincy. His sub- 
sequent gallant career is well described in the following ex- 
tract from an address delivered by Colonel Moore: "From 
the time he gave his services to his State and country, he was 
all enthusiasm and dash, and never lost an opportunity to do 
his best. In nearly every fight our regiment was engaged in 
he was present, and in glorious service. His services were so 
meritorious that Colonel Baker, before his capture, spoke of 
wanting to promote him. When he was promoted, he was 
ninth captain in rank, and one of the youngest, if not the 
very youngest. He was complimented in general orders for 
gallant services in battles on the White Oak and Charles City 


During the Holden-Kirk war, in 1870, favored by the local 
factions and divisions of the dominant Eepublicans, Major 
McClammy and Capt. Samuel A. Ashe v^^ere elected to the 
Assembly, and became leaders in the important M^ork of that 
body, remedying many of the excesses of the Reconstruction 
period, impeaching and deposing the Governor, pacifying 
the State, and measurably unifying the discordant elements 
of the white people of the State. Many years then elapsed 
before New Hanover had another Democratic Representative 
in the Assembly. Later Major McClammy represented the 
Cape Fear District in the Congress of the United States. 

"William Dougald McMillan, M.D., enlisted in the spring 
of 1861, at the age of sixteen years, in the Topsail Rifles, 
with which he served one year on the coast. In the spring of 
1862 he became a member of Rankin's heavy artillery; but, 
after a few months' service, he provided a substitute for that 
command and volunteered as a private in the Fifty-first Regi- 
ment of Infantry. There he served in 1863 as sergeant 
major, and during 1864-65, while able for duty, as acting 
adjutant. His regiment was attached to Clingman's brigade 
and did gallant service in North Carolina and Virginia. He 
shared its fortunes in battle at Plymouth, Bermuda Hundred, 
Drewry's Bluff, Cold Harbor, Port Walthall Junction, in the 
trenches at Petersburg and the fighting on the Weldon Rail- 
road, and at Fort Harrison and the Crater. He was slightly 
wounded at Drewry's Bluff, Second Cold Harbor, Bermuda 
Hundred, and Petersburg, and seriously at Fort Harrison. 
He was last in battle in the defense of Fort Fisher. He 
surrendered at High Point in the spring of 1865. 

Alexander MacRae: Shortly after the outbreak of the 
war in 1861, the Legislature of North Carolina cooperating 
with the Confederate Government in defending the entrance 
to the Cape Fear River, passed an act authorizing the forma- 
tion of a battalion of heavy artillery, to be composed of three 
companies. One of the companies was raised by Capt. 
Alexander MacRae, of Wilmington. Captain MacRae had 
been President of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad 


Company, and was then well advanced in age. Captain Mac- 
Eae's company was on duty at Fort Anderson and at Fort 
Fisher. In 1863, four companies were organized into a bat- 
talion with Alexander MacRae as major, the companies be- 
ing known as Companies A, B, C, and D, of the First Bat- 
talion of Heavy Artillery. This, with the Thirty-sixth and 
Fortieth Regiments, and attached companies, formed Hebert's 
brigade. After participating in the defense of the lower Cape 
Fear, this brigade returned to Goldsboro and fought at Ben- 
tonville. Major MacRae was paroled in May, 1865. 

Henry MacRae: The Eighth Regiment, North Carolina 
State Troops, was organized at Camp Macon, near Warrenton, 
N. C, in August and September, 1861, and Henry MacRae 
was commissioned captain of Company C. Captain MacRae 
died while in service. 

Capt. Walter G. MacRae, a gallant IN'orth Carolina sol- 
dier, was born in Wilmington, January 27, 1841. He was 
educated in 'New England, entering a private school in Boston 
in 1856, graduating at the English High School in that city 
in 1860, receiving the Franklin medal, and then studied law 
at the Harvard Law School until the outbreak of hostilities in 
1861, when he returned home to fight for his State. Joining 
the Eighth North Carolina, he accompanied it to South Caro- 
lina, and a few months later was transferred to the heavy 
artillery and stationed at Fort Fisher. Subsequently he be- 
came a member of McISTeill's Partisan Rangers, and, after 
an adventurous career of thirteen months with that command, 
joined Company C of the Seventh North Carolina Infantry, 
with a commission as lieutenant from Governor Ellis. From 
that time he was in command of his company, with promotion 
to captain after the battle of Gettysburg. Among the engage- 
ments in which he participated were the encounters at Thomp- 
son's Bridge, on the Neuse River, the skirmish near Pollocks- 
ville, and the battle of Chancellorsville, where he was slightly 
wounded in the right thigh. Afterward he was in command 
of three companies of skirmishers during the fighting on the 
Rappahannock River. At Gettysburg he was in battle three 


days, and on the evening of the third day received a severe 
wound in the left thigh. While being carried to Richmond he 
was sick three weeks with fever at Newton, Va., and, on reach- 
ing the Confederate capital, he was granted a furlough for 
forty days. In May, 1864, he participated in the death 
grapple of the armies in the Wilderness and had the misfor- 
tune to be captured. He was held at Fort Delaware, and in 
the following August was one of the 500 officers placed under 
fire at Morris Island, thence being returned to Fort Delaware 
and held until the close of hostilities. 

Gen. William MacRae was a man of commanding gifts, 
but very strong prejudices. The severity of his discipline in 
his regiment was universally known. He was elected lieuten- 
ant colonel of the Fifteenth Eegiment, and afterwards, on 
June 22, 1864, was appointed brigadier general and assigned 
to the command of Kirkland's brigade. An officer of the regi- 
ment speaking of General MacEae, said : "General MacRae 
soon won the confidence and admiration of the brigade, both 
officers and men. His voice was like that of a woman ; he was 
small in person and quick in action. History has never 
done him justice. He could place his command in position 
quicker and infuse more of his fighting qualities into his 
men than any other officer I ever saw. His presence with his 
troops seemed to dispel all fear and to inspire every one with a 
desire for the fray. The brigade remained under his com^ 
mand until the surrender. General MacRae on being as- 
signed to the brigade changed the physical expression of the 
whole command in less than two weeks, and gave the men in- 
finite faith in him and in themselves which was never lost, 
not even when they grounded arms at Appomattox." 

General MacRae distinguished himself in the battle of 
Reams Station, August 25th, when with a small force he 
captured several flags and cannon, killed a large number of 
the enemy, and took 2,100 prisoners. He was one of the best 
of Lee's brigadiers and won a most enviable reputation. 

Capt. Robert B. MacRae was captain of Company C (New 
Hanover County), Seventh Regiment, and was wounded 


in the battle of Hanover Conrthonse, May 27, 1862. Colonel 
Havwood was wounded in the second battle of Manassas, and 
Captain MacRae took command of the regiment, and right 
gallantly did he discharge the duties imposed upon him. In 
this battle he was severely wounded. Later, he was promoted 
to be major of the regiment. 

Macrae's battalion, commanded by Maj. James C. Mac- 
Rae, was better known as the Eighteenth Battalion. It 
was organized in the summer and fall of 1863 for the pro- 
tection of the counties of western North Carolina against the 
bushwhackers and partisan leaders. No general engagement 
between the whole force and the enemy ever occurred, but 
there were frequent encounters between the detached com- 
panies and parties of bushwhackers who infested the moun- 
tains. There were many stirring adventures and brave and 
venturesome acts by these men, whose history ought to have 
been better preserved. 

Capt. Robert M. Mclntire, of Rocky Point, raised a 
cavalry company in the spring of 1862, afterwards known as 
Company C, Fourth Regiment Cavalry. He furnished sa- 
bres, saddles, and twelve horses, and he was elected first lieu- 
tenant, while his uncle, Dr. Andrew Mclntire, became cap- 
tain. In September, 1863, Lieutenant Mclntire was pro- 
moted to be captain of his company. 

The service of Company C was first near Suffolk, Va., and 
then in eastern North Carolina. It was a part of the force 
that in December, 1862, repelled Foster's army, which 
threatened to capture Goldsboro, and pursued it until the 
Federal column found shelter in New Bern. Some months 
later the regiment was ordered to Virginia, and along with 
the Fifth North Carolina Cavalry, formed Robertson's cav- 
alry brigade, which was a part of the great cavalry division 
under the command of that brilliant and dashing leader. Gen. 
J. E. B. Stuart. 

Company C shared all the vicissitudes and endured all 
the hardships of the Gettysburg campaign. Its history is a 
part of the history of the regiment. At Middleburg it struck 


the First Rhode Island Regiment, and "then commenced a 
series of cavalry battles continuing through several days, in 
which the regiment was an active participant, suffering great 
loss in killed, wounded, and captured." Then on the 21st of 
June, near Upperville, "the fighting became desperate, often 
hand to hand, with severe loss. * * * All the companies 
were engaged in this fight and sustained losses." 

The Fourth Regiment passed through Hagerstown, and on 
July 1st, reached Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and then 
moved towards Carlisle, but soon hurried to Gettysburg, ar- 
riving on the morning of the 3d, when, at once becoming 
engaged, it charged and routed the Federal Cavalry. But 
this hard contest was the end of Captain Mclntire's fine, 
active career. Like many others he fell into the enemy's 
hands at South Mountain, Pennsylvania, and, along with 
Colonel Kenan and hundreds of other brave soldiers of the 
Cape Fear, he suffered all the terrible hardships of a long 
captivity on Johnsons Island ; and it was not until the war 
had virtually closed, March 15, 1865, that he was paroled. 

John C. Mcllhenny was a first lieutenant in Company E, 
Light Artillery, Tenth Regiment, North Carolina Troops ; a 
fine officer. 

Thomas Hall McKoy, of Wilmington, entered the army 
early in the war and saw active service throughout the cam- 
paigns of the Branch-Lane Brigade, of which he was one of 
the two commissaries, with rank of major. 

His devotion to the cause, and his eminence as a merchant 
of Wilmington are worthy of honorable mention. He engaged 
in the mercantile business at the close of hostilities and died 
some years ago, respected and honored by his friends and 

Dr. James F. McRee, jr., was a surgeon in the Third 
North Carolina Infantry, and was well beloved and faithful. 
He was commissioned May 16, 1861, from New Hanover 
County. Sergt. Maj. Robert McRee, son of Dr. James F. 
McRee, jr., was killed at Spottsylvania Courthouse; a gallant 


Henry C. McQueen^ : The family of McQueens from whom 
the subject of this sketch is descended is distinijiiished and 
widely extended. In the Highlands of Scotland they adhered 
to the cause of Charles Edward, the Pretender, with loyal 
and romantic valor, and when his sun went down forever on 
the fatal field of Culloden many of them left the wild and 
picturesque scenery which surrounded their early homes and 
emigrated to America. Among the first of this number was 
James McQueen, from whom Henry C. McQueen, is lineally 
descended. Henry C. McQueen was born in the town of 
Lumberton, on the sixteenth day of July, 1846. The section 
in which he was born was intensely devoted to the fortunes of 
the South in the War between the States, and he inherited 
strongly this sentiment, with an abiding faith in the justice 
of its cause. Animated by the martial spirit of the race from 
which he sprung, he enlisted while a lad as a private in the 
First iN'orth Carolina Battery of Artillery. The boy soldier, 
whether in camp, on the march, or upon the field of battle, 
won the affection and admiration of his comrades by the 
faithful and conscientious discharge of every duty which de- 
volved upon him. On the 15th day of January, 1865, his ca- 
reer as a soldier was brought to an end by the capture of 
Fort Fisher, when he was wounded and made prisoner. He 
was detained by the Federal authorities until the close of the 
war, which soon followed this event, so calamitous to the for- 
tunes of the Southern Confederacy, yet so much to its glory. 

He commenced his business career in Wilmington, North 
Carolina, in 1866, and it has been one of uninterrupted honor 
and success. He is a member of the firm of Murchison & 
Company, distinguished for its fair dealing and without blem- 
ish or stain. He has served two terms as president of the 
Produce Exchange of the city of Wilmington, now known 
as the Chamber of Commerce. Since 1898 he has been a 
member of the Board of Audit and Finance of the City of 
Wilmington, and has been its chairman since 1896. 

In March, 1899, the Murchison National Bank of the City 
of Wilmington was organized. Its founders were strong men, 

lExtract from Ashe's Biographical History of North Carolina. 


skilled in finance and thoroughly conversant with the busi- 
ness interests of the country at large, as well as of their own 
immediate section. With one accord they named Henry C. 
McQueen as its president. He has ever executed the trust 
which was confided to him with unquestioned integrity and 
with rare skill and ability. Its success has been remarkable 
and unexcelled in the financial history of the State. Today 
not a single bank in North Carolina has so large a deposit 
account, and none is held in higher repute. From the day 
when its doors were first opened for business to the present 
time it has felt the lasting impress of the splendid financial 
capacity and superior management of its first and only presi- 
dent. Nor has the success of that other great financial insti- 
tution of Wilmington, always under his guidance and control, 
been less marked. Organized in April, 1900, the Peoples 
Savings Bank soon reached a degree of prosperity which has 
made it a marvel to the public. Mr. McQueen has been 
for many years a member of the directory of the Carolina 
Insurance Company of Wilmington, which has a high and 
honorable record. He was one of the organizers of the Bank 
of Duplin at Wallace, North Carolina, in 1903, and became 
its president, which position he still holds. He is actively 
connected with various other important enterprises in Wil- 
mington and its vicinity. 

The personality of Henry C. McQueen is most attractive. 
He combines a quiet dignity and reserve with gentleness and 
courtesy. His frankness and sincerity at once enlist confi- 
dence. Perhaps the most marked feature of his character, 
next to his moral firmness, is his unaffected modesty, which 
has endeared him to his associates and won for him universal 
respect wherever he is known. In his intercourse with his 
fellow-men he is singularly free from selfishness, and his chief 
incentive in the struggle -of life has been a supreme sense of 
duty and tender attachment for his wife and children. His 
success has been won without willful wrong to any one of his 
fellow-men and without self-abasement or compromise of 
right. Above all he is a consistent Christian, with an abiding 


faith in the life to come and an absolute confidence in its 
immortality. He has been for many years a member of the 
First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, and since 1898 
has been chairman of its Board of Deacons. 

He was married on the 9th day of November, 1871, to 
Miss Mary Aggies Hall, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, a 
woman whose Christian virtues and gentle heart made her the 
charm and delight of the circle in which she moved. She 
was the daughter of Avon E. Hall, a merchant of high repute. 
Her mother, before marriage, was Margaret Bell, a most 
accomplished lady, whose father was a distinguished architect. 
From the time of their marriage until her death in January, 
1904, their home was one long happy dream where discord 
was unknown. 

Capt. Eugene S. Martin was fourth sergeant of the 
Wilmington Rifle Guards, a company formed before the war 
and which entered service on April 15, 1861, on the occupa- 
tion of Fort Caswell. Captain Martin was assigned to duty 
as sergeant major, and afterwards as adjutant of the post, and 
served as such until June 20, 1861, when he resigned the 
office and returned to his company. In the meantime the 
Eighth Regiment was formed, and the Wilmington Rifle 
Guards became Company I of that regiment. Captain Martin 
being second sergeant, in which capacity he served until he 
was mustered out April 15, 1862. He was commissioned in 
May, 1862, first lieutenant of Artillery, and assigned to Com- 
pany A, First North Carolina Battalion of Heavy Artillery. 

In the spring of 1864 he was detached from the company 
and ordered to Fort Caswell as ordnance officer, where he 
served until the fort was evacuated and blown up in January, 
1865, upon the fall of Fort Fisher. He served at Fort An- 
derson during the bombardment in February, 1865, as ord- 
nance officer, and at the battles of Town Creek, Kinston, and 
Bentonville, as ordnance officer of Hagood's brigade; and 
afterwards was ordered to the brigade of Junior Reserves, as 
ordnance officer, to assist in organizing that brigade. He 
never received his commission of captain, but ranked as 


captain during the time lie was at Fort Caswell and until tHe 
end of the war. He surrendered in Wilmington in May, 
1865, to General Hawlej, commanding that post, and after- 
wards took the oath of allegiance. 

John E. Matthews : When Fort Sumter was bombarded by 
Beauregard, Doctor Matthews was a member of the Elm City 
cadets, of New Bern, which were ordered at once to take 
possession of Fort Macon. He remained there for two months 
under Col. C. C. Tew, who was in command, and returned 
with the company to New Bern, where he remained until 
ordered to Garysburg, N. C, when the company became a 
part of the Second Regiment, North Carolina Troops, under 
Colonel Tew. Doctor Matthews served continuously and 
actively with this regiment throughout the war. 

After the battle of Fredericksburg, in December, 1862, the 
first corps of sharpshooters for Ramseur's brigade was organ- 
ized, which was the beginning of this branch of the service, 
and Doctor Matthews was made second sergeant of the corps, 
participating at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Kelly's 
Ford, where, while on picket duty, he was captured. He was 
confined at Point Lookout, but was exchanged in February, 
1865, and returned to duty at Petersburg, and took part in the 
subsequent battles around Petersburg and on the retreat at 
Sailor's Creek, where he was again captured and again con- 
fined at Point Lookout until July 1st, 1865, months after the 

Thomas D. Meares has the honor of being one of the boy 
soldiers of North Carolina during the closing scenes of the 
great struggle. In December, 1864, being about sixteen years 
of age, he enlisted as a private in the Junior Reserves, but 
within a few weeks his soldierly qualities led to his selection 
as a courier on the staff of Gen. Wade Hampton, between 
Hillsboro and Durham, and he began a service as courier for 
that gallant cavalry commander which continued until the 
end of the war. 

Col. Oliver Pendleton Meares was captain of the Wil- 
mington Eifle Guards, which was one of the companies that 


occujoied Fort Caswell on April 16, 1861. This company 
was composed of all the best young men of Wilmington who 
were not members of the older company, the Wilmington 
Light Infantry. At one time it had on its rolls more than a 
hundred men, ranging from sixteen to twenty-two years of 
age, and only one married man among them. 

On the formation of the Eighth Eegiment of Volunteers, 
the Eifle Guards became Company I of that Regiment. The 
organization was effected at Camp Wyatt on July 1, 1861, 
and Colonel Radcliffe was elected colonel and Oliver P. 
Meares lieutenant colonel. The Eifle Guards, like the Wil- 
mington Light Infantry, furnished a large number of officers 
to other organizations of the State. 

On the expiration of the twelve months for which the 
volunteer companies had originally enlisted, the regiment 
was reorganized, and Colonel Meares retired as lieutenant 
colonel. On the formation of the ten regiments of State 
Troops, enlisted for three years or the war, they were caUed 
First Eegiment, North Carolina State Troops, and so on; 
and the Eighth Eegiment Volunteers became the Eighteenth, 
and so on. 

In August, 1862, Colonel Meares became commissary of 
the Sixty-first Eegiment. Wilmington never had a truer son 
than Colonel Meares. After the war he became a judge, and 
his memory is justly revered. 

Capt. E. G. Meares, of Company D, Third North Carolina 
State Troops, was killed in the battle of Sharpsburg. He was 
"a good soldier, a brave man, discharging his duty under all 
conditions.' He was a young man of lovely character and was 
greatly lamented. 

Capt. James I. Metts, of Wilmington, was bom at Kin- 
ston, ]Sr. C, March 16, 1842, and was reared from the age of 
six in the city where he now resides. Early in 1861 he left 
the State University to enlist in the Eifle Guards, organizing 
in anticipation of war, and on April 15th was with his com- 
pany in the seizure of Fort Caswell. Soon afterward his 
company was assigned to the Eighth Eegiment, and he was 


made corporal and was one of the color guard of the regiment 
when it was ordered to Coosawhatehie, S. C. On leaving the 
latter place he was given charge of the regimental colors, 
which he carried until his term of service expired, after 
twelve months. Eeenlisting, he became fifth sergeant of 
Company G, Third Regiment, Col. Gaston Meares, and en- 
tered the campaign before Richmond at the close of the battle 
of Seven Pines. He took part in the Seven Days' Battle 
with distinction, winning attention by his unassuming bra- 
very and ability as sergeant, specially manifested in reform- 
ing part of the regiment at the battle of Cold Harbor, and 
in command of a detail guarding a causeway in the Chica- 
hominy Swamp. He was among those who received the last 
orders of Colonel Meares before he was killed at Malvern 
Hill. After this fight he was made orderly sergeant, and, 
on return to camp near Richmond, he was honored by being 
assigned to the main work of drilling the recruits for his 
company. During the Maryland campaign he was disabled 
by illness contracted in the Peninsula swamp, but he rejoined 
his company at Bunker Hill, and Captain Rhodes and First 
Lieutenant Quince having been killed at Sharpsburg, in the 
promotions which followed Sergeant Metts became senior 
second lieutenant. At Winchester he was detailed as com- 
missary of the regiment, and after Front Royal he discharged 
the duties of adjutant. His coolness at Fredericksburg at- 
tracted the attention of superior officers. Afterward he was 
disabled by pneumonia, and he was in the hospital at Rich- 
mond until the regiment started through Culpeper toward 
Pennsylvania, when he joined it and took part in the fighting 
around Winchester, where his brigade, Stuart's, at Jordan 
Springs, did much toward the victory over Milroy. He com- 
manded the rear guard of the brigade two days prior to cross- 
ing the Potomac. 

In the Confederate assault at Gulp's Hill, on the evening 
of the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, he led his men 
forward and was soon hotly engaged within seventy-five yards 
of the second line of Federal breastworks. In the dark some 


boy soldier came up to him and said, "Lieutenant, my father 
is killed." He could only answer, "Well, we cannot help it," 
and the boy, replying, "No, we cannot help it," turned about 
and resumed firing as rapidly as he could at the enemy. Long 
afterward the Lieutenant was told that the boy kept up his 
firing until exhausted, and that next day his face was black 
with powder. A few minutes later Lieutenant Metts felt his 
right breast penetrated by a rifle ball and experienced the ex- 
cruciating pain that follows a wound in the lungs. He turned 
to Lieut. Col. William M. Parsley, Adjutant James, and 
Capt. Ed. H. Armstrong, three as brave men as ever stepped 
to the tap of the drum, and told them his condition, and 
James helped him to the ambulance corps. He soon fell 
from loss of blood and suffered terrible pain as he was 
hauled two miles over the rough road in an ambulance. But 
for the care of a Sister of Charity he would have died in the 
field hospital. Many people from Baltimore and elsewhere 
visited the wounded Confederates at Gettysburg, bringing 
clothing and delicacies of food. An elderly lady who brought 
two charming young lady friends, finding that Mr. Metts' 
bed had no sheet, pulled off her petticoat, tore it in two, and 
pinned it together, saying, "Don't mind me, boys, I'm a 
mother ; and he shall have a good sheet to-morrow." The same 
kindness followed him in the general camp hospital and in the 
West Building Hospital at Baltimore, where he found his 
kinsmen. Col. Thomas S. and James G. Kenan, also wounded 
on Gulp's Hill. Soon afterward he was transferred to John- 
sons Island, Lake Erie, where Colonel Kenan was his bunk- 
mate for thirteen months. Their sufferings here during the 
winter were very severe, with insufficient food, scanty cloth- 
ing, in houses neither ceiled nor plastered, and with but one 
stove for about sixty prisoners. During one night, January 
1, 1864, when the mercury was twenty degrees below zero 
and even the guard was forced to take shelter, Maj. John 
Winsted and three or four others escaped and made their 
way across the ice to the mainland, but the excessive cold 
prevented them from going further, except Major Winsted, 


who reached Canada and returned to the Confederacy on a 
blockade runner. Many tunnels were dug for escape, but were 
invariably discovered ; and many amusing incidents occurred 
in connection with them. The treatment of the prisoners by 
the guards was cruel. In August, 1864, Lieutenant Metts was 
selected, as one of the most enfeebled and delicate of the 
prisoners, for exchange, and not long afterwards found him- 
self again upon the streets of Kichmond, rejoicing in a new 
lease of life, for he had been assured that he could not survive 
another winter on Johnsons Island. He found that Cap- 
tain Armstrong, an amiable gentleman, fine scholar, and one 
of the bravest of men, had been killed at Spottsylvania, and 
he had been promoted to the captaincy of his company, which 
he joined at Staunton in December. He took command of his 
company and Company E, and served in Cox's brigade of 
Grimes' division, though his health was very delicate, until 
detailed to serve on the staff of Major General Grimes as 
special instructor of division. The night before arms were 
stacked at Appomattox he accompanied a band from division 
headquarters to serenade General Lee, who was too much 
affected to say much, but gave each of the boys a warm pres- 
sure of the hand and an affectionate good-bye. He started 
home in company with Gen. W. R. Cox, Surgeon Thomas F. 
Wood and others, and, after joining his mother, brothers, and 
sisters at Graham, went to Wilmington and began the strug- 
gle of civil life, with the duty of caring for his family, who 
had lost all their property. His first engagement was with 
two Federal sutlers, who treated him kindly. Since then his 
exertions have been rewarded with the success that is the 
just desert of a brave patriot. 

In 1882 Captain Metts had the pleasure of receiving his 
sword, which, as he was being taken to the rear at Gettysburg, 
he gave to a Maryland physician, Dr. J. R. T. Reeves, for 
safekeeping. The doctor saved the sword from capture, and 
after many years' search, finally discovered its owner, after 
the following correspondence: 


Chaptico, Md., May 11, 1882. 

Deae Sib: — Yours of recent date came duly to hand and I avail 
myself of the earliest leisure to acknowledge its receipt and note 

I have little, If any doubt, that you are the owner of the sword 
which I brought with me from Gettysburg in July, 1863, and it is a 
source of peculiar and especial pleasure to me, that I shall be able, 
after a lapse of very nearly nineteen years, to restore it to its right- 
ful owner, in the same condition in which I received it from the 
wounded lieutenant (shot through the lungs) from North Carolina, 
who, believing he was going to die and not wishing his "trusty 
blade" to fall into the hands of the Yankees, begged me to take it 
with me and keep them from getting it. 

It would be very interesting to you, I am sure, to hear how I had 
to contrive to conceal it until I left Gettysburg, and the narrow 
escape I had in passing the guard with it to get on the cars for 
Baltimore; but the story is too long for my present sheet, and I 
must content myself with stating that I have no desire to retain 
the sword, and if, when you receive it, you should find it not to be 
yours, you will be more likely to find an owner for it than I will, 
as it certainly belongs to somebody who hailed from North Carolina 
in '63. 

I have delivered it to Mr. Glenn, of the S. M. R. R., with the 
request that he forward it to you as speedily as possible; and I 
would be glad to hear from you on its arrival. 

Very truly yours, 

J. R. T. Reeves. 

Chablotte Hall, Md., May 11, 1882. 
Capt. Jas. I. Metts, Wilmington, N. C. 

My Dear Sib:— It is with the greatest of pleasure that I forward, 
per express, your sword, which has been in the hands of a stranger 
for twenty long years. I know that it will be received by you and 
yours with the greatest joy, for I know how my family love and 
revere the scabbardless blade of my poor father, who was killed at 

When Dr. Reeves first informed me that he had the sword of a 
North Carolinian, who, even when he thought he was dying, was so 
careful of his own, and his State's honor, as not to wish that the 
sword of one of her sons should fall into the hands of the enemy, 
I resolved at once that, if possible, I would find the owner and 
return it to him, and should he be dead, which I thought from Dr. 
Reeves's account, more than probable, I would restore it to his 

I am a "Tar Heel" myself, and were you in my place, you would 
be gratified as I am, to hear, daily, the praise bestowed by both 
friends and foes, upon the bravery and endurance of the gallant 
sons of North Carolina in our unfortunate Civil War. 


In conclusion, I will state that Dr. Reeves has shown a most praise- 
worthy desire, all through, to restore the sword to its rightful owner. 
Hoping you will receive it in good order, and that you will let me 
know, at once, of its arrival. 

I remain yours, very respectfully, E. T. B. Glenn. 

Dr. James A. Miller, surgeon of the Eighth (Eighteenth) 
Regiment, became surgeon of the brigade and then division 
surgeon, and finally district surgeon of the district of the 
Cape Fear. 

Capt. John Miller, a son of Mr. Tom Miller, commanded 
A. D. Moore's battery after Moore's promotion to the colo- 
nelcy of the Sixty-sLxth Regiment. He moved to California. 

Capt. Julius Walker Moore was instrumental in raising 
a company of cavalry early in the war. Later, he became cap- 
tain of a cavalry company raised chiefly in Onslow County, 
called the Humphrey Troop, and borne on the roll as Com- 
pany H, Forty-first Regiment. Captain Moore, along with a 
considerable number of his company, fell into the hands of the 
enemy, and was confined in Fort Delaware, and on James 
Island until the end of the war, when he returned home 
broken in health and fortune, and he soon died at Charlotte. 

James Osborne Moore became a purser in the Confederate 
Navy. After the war he became a civil engineer. He died 
at Charlotte. A still younger brother, Alexander Duncan 
Moore, enlisted in Company I, Eighth Regiment of Volun- 
teers, and was sergeant major of the regiment when he fell on 
one of the battlefields in Virginia. He was a bright young 
man, of the finest characteristics, and was imbued with the 
noble spirit of his Revolutionary forefathers. 

Chas. D. Myers was one of the members of the Wilming- 
ton Light Infantry of ante-bellum times, and served in that 
company until he was made adjutant of the Eighth Regiment, 
North Carolina Troops. He subsequently served upon the 
staff of Gen. Samuel G. French, who commanded the Con- 
federate forces in the vicinity of Wilmington, with the rank 
of captain. 



Kenneth McKenzie Murchison^ was born near Fayette- 
ville, ISTorth Carolina, February 18, 1831, the son of Duncan 
Murchison, who was born in Manchester, Cumberland 
County, North Carolina, May 20, 1801, and the gi-andson of 
Kenneth McKenzie Murchison, for whom he was named, and 
who came to this country from Scotland in 1773. Duncan 
Murchison became prominent in the planting and manufac- 
ture of cotton. The eldest son, John R., enlisted in the war 
in the Eighth Eegiment, was promoted to be colonel, and was 
killed in the battle of Cold Harbor, June 1, 1864. A 
younger son, David Eeid, served in the Seventeenth and 
Fifty-fourth Eegiments and was later inspector general of the 
Commissary Department of the State. 

Colonel Murchison, the second son of Duncan, was gradu- 
ated at Chapel Hill in 1853, after which he was engaged in 
business pursuits in New York City and Wilmington until 
the spring of 1861, when he disposed of his business in the 
North, assisted in the organization of a company at Fay- 
etteville, and entered the service as second lieutenant. He 
commanded Company C, of the Eighth Eegiment, which was 
captured at Eoanoke Island, a disaster which Lieutenant Mur- 
chison escaped by his fortunate absence on military detail. 
He then organized another company in Cumberland County, 
which was assigned to the Fifty-fourth Eegiment, with him- 
self as captain. Upon the organization of the regiment he was 
elected major, was soon promoted to lieutenant colonel, and 
after the death of Col. J. C. S. McDowell, at Fredericks- 
burg, became the colonel of the regiment. He was especially 
commended for gallant service at Fredericksburg by Gen. 
E. M. Law, commander of his brigade. He commanded his 
regiment at Chancellorsville and in the battle of Winchester 
against Milroy. Subsequently he was ordered to convey the 
prisoners taken on that occasion to Eichmond, after which he 
returned to Winchester and served in guarding the wagon 
trains of Lee's army. On July 6th, in command of his regi- 
ment, he gallantly repulsed the enemy's advance on Williams- 

>Sketch by Col. Alfred M. Waddell in the Biographical History of 
North Carolina. 


port. He served in Hoke's brigade during the subsequent op- 
erations in Virginia, and when the brigade was cut off by the 
enemy at Rappahannock Station, November 7, 1863, he was 
among those captured. He was held a prisoner of war at John- 
sons Island, Lake Erie, from that time until July, 1865, an 
imprisonment of twenty months. Upon his release he resumed 
business in New York, and formed a brief partnership under 
the firm name of Murray & Murchison, but dissolved it in 
June, 1866, and established the firm of Murchison & Com- 
pany, the members of the firm being himself, his brother, 
David R. Murchison, George W. Williams, of Wilmington, 
and John D. Williams, of Fayetteville. This firm did a very 
large and profitable business for some years, the New York 
house having been managed by Colonel Murchison, under the 
name of Murchison & Company. The Wilmington house was 
known as Williams & Murchison, and the Fayetteville con- 
nection was known as John D. Williams & Company. His 
brother, David R. Murchison, of the Wilmington house, who 
had served throughout the war, was a man of extraordinary 
business sagacity, which was made manifest about the year 
1880, when, after being appointed receiver of the Carolina 
Central Railway, he startled the community by buying out 
the whole road, and conducted it successfully until his health 
began to fail, when he sold it at a profit, and not long after- 
wards died. 

Colonel Murchison lived in New York after the war, but 
generally spent the winter in North Carolina. In the year 
1880 he bought the old historic plantation called "Orton," 
the family seat of ''King" Roger Moore, situated about six- 
teen miles below Wilmington, on the west side of the Cape 
Fear, and the southernmost of all the old rice plantations on 
that river, and he expended a large amount of money in re- 
storing it to its former condition, and improving it in various 
ways to satisfy his taste. Within its boundary was the colo- 
nial parish church and churchyard of St. Philip's, and this in- 
teresting ruin with its consecrated grounds was conveyed in 
fee simple by Colonel Murchison and his brother, David R. 


Mnrchison, to the Diocese of North Carolina. It is now 
carefully preserved by the North Carolina Society of Colonial 
Dames of America. Orton has always been a paradise for 
sportsmen, and the Colonel was very fond of hunting. It 
was his custom to bring some of his friends down from the 
North every winter, and give them the opportunity to enjoy 
the old-time hospitality, which he dispensed with a lavish 
hand. It was here that those who loved him best and who 
were loved by him spent their happiest days in the full man- 
hood and evening of his successful life. The restful seclusion 
of this grandest of all colonial homes, with its broad acres and 
primeval forests, was most grateful to him and to his intimate 
associates after the storm and stress of war and the subsequent 
struggles of business life. It was here that the austerity of 
worldly contact was relaxed and the manifold humanities of 
a gentle, kindly life unfolded. He never spoke of his own 
exploits, nor did he willingly recall the horrors of the four 
years' war. He loved to roam the woods with his faithful 
dogs, to linger for hours in the secluded sanctuary of the game 
he sought so eagerly, and the sight of his triumphant return 
from an exciting chase, with Eeynard at the saddle bow, sur- 
rounded by his yelping pack of English hounds, would rouse 
the dullest of his guests to exclamations of delight. 

Colonel Murchison was also the joint owner with his 
brother David of the celebrated Caney River hunting pre- 
serves, in the wildest parts of the mountains of North Caro- 
lina, where they spent the summers of several happy years 
upon the fourteen miles of trout streams of icy waters. 
Within this splendid domain is some of the most picturesque 
of American mountain scenery, including Mount Mitchell 
and the neighboring peaks. It is the scene of big Tom Wil- 
son's hunting and trapping exploits, and Wilson still sur- 
vives as the custodian of the magnificent forest and stream, 
to tell the curious stranger in his own peculiar way how 
he found the body of the great naturalist whose name Mount 
Mitchell bears. 

Colonel Murchison's striking personality was likened by 


those who knew him to that of the great German chancellor, 
Prince Bismarck, in his younger years. His commanding 
figure and uncompromising expression, which characterized 
his outward life, suggested a military training beyond that of 
his war experience, and this was in strange contrast to his 
inner life, a knowledge of which disclosed a sympathetic ten- 
derness for all suffering or afflicted humanity. He preferred 
and practiced the simple life ; his wants were few and easily 
supplied. A notable characteristic was his exceeding devo- 
tion to his five surviving children ; he was proud of them and 
of their loyal love to him, and he made them his constant 
companions. He gave to worthy charities with a liberal and 
unostentatious hand. His patriotic spirit responded quickly 
to every public emergency, and his local pride was manifested 
in the building and equipment, at a great expense, of "The 
Orton," when a good hotel was needed in Wilmington, and 
when no one else would venture the investment. 

During the last fifteen years of his honored life, Colonel 
Murchison gradually withdrew from the activities of strenu- 
ous business cares, and with the first frosts of autumn re- 
sumed control at Orton Plantation. He left it in June of 
1904 in the vigor and spirits of abounding health, to meet, 
a few days later, the sudden call of the Messenger of Death, 
whom he had never feared. So lived and died a man of 
whom it may be said, "We ne'er shall see his like again." 
He was an example of splendid physical manhood, of broad 
experience, of unyielding integrity, pure in heart and in 
speech, with the native modesty of a woman and the courage 
of a lion. He was especially sympathetic and generous to his 
negro servitors, who regarded him with loving veneration. 

Another one of the long line of proprietors from the days 
of "King" Roger Moore has crossed "over the river to rest 
under the shade of the trees," where the soft South breezes, 
which brought from their island home the first Barbadian 
settlers, bring to the listening ear the murmured miserere of 
the sea. 

David Eeid Murchison^ was born at Holly Hill, Manches- 

iSketch by Maj. C. M. Stedman. 


ter, 'N. C, December 5, 1837. He spent his boyhood days at 
Holly Hill and received his early education in Cumberland 
County. Later, he was a student at the University of Vir- 
ginia. In 1860 he commenced his business career as a mem- 
ber of the firm of Eli Murray & Co., of Wilmington, N. C, 
which was interrupted in 1861 by the commencement of the 
War between the States. He enlisted at once in the Seventh 
North Carolina Regiment and remained with that command 
one year, when he was transferred to the Fifty-fourth North 
Carolina Regiment and assigned to duty with the rank of cap- 
tain. With this regiment he saw active service and his conduct 
always reflected honor and credit upon him as a brave and 
efficient officer. He was taken from the Fifty-fourth North 
Carolina Regiment and made inspector general of the Com- 
missary Department of North Carolina, having been ap- 
pointed to this position by President Davis on account of his 
executive ability, which was then, despite his early age, rec- 
ognized as of a very high order. The change from active 
service to his new duties was very distasteful to him and 
against his wishes. Brave himself, and born of heroic blood, 
with a firmness and fortitude which faltered in no crisis, he 
had an aptitude for war, and doubtless would have risen 
high in the profession of arms had he been allowed to see 
active service in the field to the close of the war, as was 
his wish and desire. One of his chief characteristics, how- 
ever, was a high sense of duty, which always prompted him 
to do whatever work was before him as best he knew how. He 
filled the position to which he was assigned until the close 
of the war with great credit to himself and benefit to the 
soldiers of North Carolina. His papers for advancement to 
the grade of major were prepared but were not executed be- 
cause of the close of hostilities. 

He was a singularly brave man, devoid of fear. Cool and 
self-reliant under all circumstances, he gave confidence and 
strength to the weak and timid. He was generous, full of 
sympathy and of kindness to the poor and needy, to whom he 


gave with an open and liberal band. He was a sincere man, 
abhorring deception and hypocrisy and looking with scorn 
upon all that was base and mean. He died in 'Rew York, 
where he had gone for medical treatment, February 22, 1882. 
He was in the full meridian of his intellectual power and his 
nobility of mind and heart was never more clearly manifested 
than in his last days. He went to his rest, his fortitude un- 
shaken by long-continued and severe suffering, his chief de- 
sire to give the least possible pain and trouble to others; 
solicitous not for himself but for the happiness of those he 
loved. His gentleness and self-abnegation were as beautiful 
as his iron nerve was firm and unyielding. North Carolina 
has furnished to the world a race of men who by their great 
qualities have shed lustre upon the State which gave them 
birth. In the elements of character which constitute true 
greatness, courage, honor, truth, fidelity, unselfish love of 
country and humanity, Capt. David Reid Murchison will 
rank with the best and noblest of her citizens. 

Col. John R. Murchison, the oldest of the sons of Duncan 
Murchison, had a career brilliant with heroic deeds and per- 
sonal sacrifice. Beloved at home by his fellow countrymen 
and upon the field by his devoted followers, as colonel of the 
Eighth North Carolina Regiment, Clingman's brigade, Hoke's 
division, he took part in the battles of Hatteras Inlet and 
Neuse Bridge, and after camping for two months at Camp 
Ashe, Old Topsail Sound, he won distinction at Morris Is- 
land, and fought so bravely at Plymouth and Drewry's Bluff, 
that he was recommended for honors, and was promoted to be 
brigadier general a few hours before his untimely death. 
In the battle of Cold Harbor, while personally leading a 
second charge of his regiment, he was mortally wounded and 
fell within the enemy's lines. This final sacrifice of his 
noble life was marked by an armistice between General Grant 
and General Lee, during which several officers and men of 
the Eighth Regiment, seeking the body of their beloved com- 
mander, were, through a misunderstanding by General Grant, 
made prisoners and sent to the rear of the Federal Army, 


and the body of Colonel Murchison was never recovered. 
The official correspondence on that occasion is as follows. 

Cold Hakbor, Va., June 7, 1864 — 10:30 a. m. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Comdg. Army of Northern Virginia. 

I regret that your note of 7 p. m. yesterday should have been 
received at the nearest corps headquarters to where it was delivered 
after the hour that had been given for the removal of the dead and 
wounded had expired. 10:45 p. m. was the hour at which it was 
received at corps headquarters, and between 11 and 12 it reached 
my headquarters. As a consequence, it was not understood by the 
troops of this army that there was a cessation of hostilities for the 
purpose of collecting the dead and wounded, and none were collected. 
Two officers and six men of the Eighth and Twenty-fifth North 
Carolina Regiments, who were out in search of the bodies of officers 
of their respective regiments, were captured and brought into our 
lines, owing to this want of understanding. I regret this, but will 
state that as soon as I learned the fact, I directed that they should 
not be held as prisoners, but must be returned to their comrades. 
These officers and men having been carelessly brought through our 
lines to the rear, I have not determined whether they will be sent 
back the way they came or whether they will be sent by some other 

Regretting that all my efforts for alleviating the sufferings of 
wounded men left upon the battlefield have been rendered nugatory, 
I remain, &c., U. S. Grant, 

Lieutenant General. 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginl^, 
Lieut. Gen. U. S. Grant, ^^^^^ 7, 1864-2 p. m. 

Commanding U. 8. Armies. 

General: — Your note of 10:30 a. m., today has just been received. 
I regret that my letter to you of 7 p. m., yesterday should have been 
too late in reaching you to effect the removal of the wounded. 

I am willing, if you desire it, to devote the hours between 6 and 8 
this afternoon to accomplish that object upon the terms and condi- 
tions as set forth in my letter of 7 p. m., yesterday. If this will 
answer your purpose, and you will send parties from your lines at 
the hour designated with white flags, I will direct that they be 
recognized and be permitted to collect the dead and wounded. 

I will also notify the officers on my lines that they will be per- 
mitted to collect any of our men that may be on the field. I request 
you will notify me as soon as practicable if this arrangement is 
agreeable to you. Lieutenant McAllister, Corporal Martin, and two 
privates of the Eighth North Carolina Regiment, and Lieutenant 
Hartman, Corpl. T. Kinlaw, and privates Bass and Grey were sent 
last night, between the hours of 8 and 10 p. m., for the purpose of 


recovering the body of Colonel Murchison, and as they have not 
returned, I presume they are the men mentioned in your letter. I 
request that they be returned to our lines. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. Lee, 

June 7, 1864. 
Referred to General G. G. Meade, commanding Army of the 

I will notify General Lee that hostilities will cease from 6 to 8 for 
the purposes mentioned. You may send the officers and men referred 
to as you deem best. Please return this. U. S. Grant, 

Lieutenant General. 

Cold Haebok, Va., June 7, 1864—5:30 p. m. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding Army of Northern Virginia. 
Your note of this date just received. It will be impossible for me 
to communicate the fact of the truce by the hour named by you (6 p. 
m.) but I will avail myself of your offer at the earliest possible mo- 
ment, which I hope will not be much after that hour. The officers 
and men taken last evening are the same mentioned in your note 
and will be returned. U. S. Grant, 

Lieutenant General. 

Commodore W. T. Muse was an officer in the IST. C. ITavy. 
The State of ISTorth Carolina, immediately after the adop- 
tion of the ordinance of secession, began the defense of her 
inland sounds bj the construction of forts at Hatteras and 
Ocracoke Inlets and by the purchase of several small steamers, 
which were converted into gimboats. Those of her sons who 
were in the United States l^avj tendered their resignations 
and placed their services at the disposal of their native State; 
prominent among them being William T. Muse, who was 
ordered by the Naval and Military Board, of which Warren 
Winslow was secretary, to Norfolk, to take charge of, and 
fit out, as gunboats at the navy yard at Norfolk the steamers 
purchased by the State. Commander W. T. Muse sailed 
from Norfolk, August 2, 1861, with the Ellis, arriving off 
Ocracoke Inlet the 4th. North Carolina's naval force con- 
sisted of seven vessels, but she sold them to the Confederate 
Navy in the fall of 1861, and her naval officers were then 
transferred to the Confederacy. 


A. W. Newkirk was commissioned as captain of Company 
A (originally known as the ''Rebel Rangers"), New Hanover 
County, Forty-first Regiment, the 19th of October, 1861. A 
brilliant exploit performed by the ''Rebel Rangers" is re- 
ported by Gen. W. H. C. Whiting, commanding the District 
of Wilmington. He says that in November, 1862, Captain 
Newkirk's cavalry and Captain Adams with a section of a 
field battery, captured a steam gunboat of the enemy on New 
River. Her crew escaped, but her armament, ammunition, 
and small arms were captured. 

Capt. William Harris Northrop, a prominent business 
man of Wilmington, who served in the Confederate cause 
in various capacities throughout the war, was born in that 
city in 1836, and there reared and educated. In 1855 he 
became a member of the Wilmington Light Infantry, with 
which he was on duty before the secession of the State at 
Fort Caswell, and later at Fort Fisher. In June, 1865, he 
was commissioned lieutenant and assigned to the Third 
North Carolina, then stationed at Aquia Creek, on the Poto- 
mac. He served in the line about eighteen months, and was 
then commissioned captain quartermaster. After six months 
of this duty with his regiment, he was transferred to the 
Second Corps, Engineer Troops, and stationed at Wilmington 
and vicinity. After the evacuation of that city he was at- 
tached to the staff of General Bragg until the surrender. 
Among the engagements in which he participated were Aquia 
Creek on the Potomac, the Seven Days' Battles before Rich- 
mond, Frederick City, Boonsboro, Sharpsburg, and Benton- 
ville. Both as a company officer and as a staff officer, his 
service was marked by bravery and entire devotion to the 
cause. After the close of hostilities Captain Northrop con- 
stantly resided at Wilmington. 

Capt. W. P. Oldham was captain of Company K, Forty- 
fourth Regiment, North Carolina Troops. At the battle of 
Reams Station Captain Oldham sighted one of the guns re- 
peatedly, and when he saw the effects of his accurate aim 
upon the masses in front, he was so jubilant that General 


MacKae, with his usual quiet humor, remarked: "Oldham 
thinks he is at a ball in Petersburg." 

Kev. George Patterson, D.D., of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, was commissioned the 30th day of December, 1862, 
chaplain of the Third Eegiment. He was faithful to the 
last. He preached in Wilmington for years after the war, 
and afterwards in Memphis, Tenn., where he recently died. 

One of our venerable survivors of war times who retains 
the respect and admiration of all who know him, and they 
are legion, is Richard P. Paddison, of Point Caswell, whose 
military record is told in his own words. A chapter of his 
humorous experiences can, appropriately, be added, as the 
tragedies of these fearful years of bloodshed were not with- 
out a comic point of view. 

He tells us that in the month of March, 1861, "this part of 
itliTorth Carolina was wild with excitement and rumors of war, 
and a public meeting was called at Harrell's Store, in Samp- 
son County, for the purpose of organizing a military company 
to be tendered the Governor. In a short time an organization 
was effected, and a man named Taylor was elected captain. 
At the next meeting they voted to call the company the 'Wild 
Cat Minute Men.' Next the question came up as to where 
the company should go. After considerable talk it was voted 
that the company should remain around Wild Cat as a home 
protection. There were a number of us, however, who did 
not take to the Wild Cat idea, and quietly withdrew and 
marched to Clinton, where a company was being organized 
by Capt. Frank Faison, called the Sampson Rangers, com- 
posed of the flower of the young men of the county. I joined 
as a private in this company. We had a good time drilling 
and eating the best the country could afford, and every fellow 
was a hero in the eye of some pretty maiden. But this ease- 
ment was suddenly cut short by orders to go with utmost dis- 
patch to Fort Johnston. The whole town was in excitement. 
We were ordered to get in marching order, and to my dying 
day I shall remember that scene — mothers, wives, sisters, and 
sweethearts all cheering and encouraging their loved ones to 


go forth and do their duty ; such love of country could only be 
shown by true Southern womanhood. After a good dinner 
and a sweet farewell under the inspiring strains by the band 
of 'The girl I left behind me,' we took up our march to 
Warsaw, where we boarded the train for Wilmington and 
arrived before night. We were met by the officials and 
marched up Front Street to Princess and Second ; here we 
halted and the fun began. On the northeast corner stood a 
large brick house built for a negro jail and operated, I think, 
by a Mr. Southerland. We were informed that this was to 
be our quarters for the night. iNow picture in your mind, 
if you can, a hundred and twenty wealthy young men, most 
of them Chapel Hill and high school boys, whose combined 
wealth could purchase half the city of Wilmington, being 
forced to sleep in a negro jail. We marched into the house 
and deposited our luggage — which in after years would have 
been sufficient for Stonewall Jackson's army. The rumbling 
noise of discord and discontent rose rapidly. We held a coun- 
cil of war and informed our officers that we would not submit 
to quarters in that house. We were to take the steamer next 
morning at nine o'clock for Fort Johnston. This was rather 
a critical situation for both officers and men. At this junc- 
ture Judge A. A. McKoy, who was a private, said he would 
stand sponsor for the boys to be on hand next morning on 
time. This was accepted, and there was a hot time in the 
old town that night. Next morning, promptly on time, 
every man was present. We boarded a river steamer, I 
think the Flora Macdonald, and arrived in good shape at 
our destination, where we had a good time until the organiza- 
tion of the Twentieth North Carolina Eegiment, when our 
trouble began. Our captain was elected lieutenant colonel, 
and an order was issued for the election of a captain. The 
candidates were James D. Holmes and William S. Devane. 
There was a strong feeling on both sides in the company. The 
Devane men, of whom I was one, said we would not serve 
under Holmes. I cannot remember how long this trouble 
lasted, but the matter was carried to Governor Ellis, who 


settled it by ordering each faction to send out recruiting 
officers and make two companies, which was done. I was 
sent out, and had ten recruits in three or four days. Both 
candidates were elected, Captain Holmes' company going to 
the Thirtieth Eegiment ; and Captain Devane's company was 
detached for quite a long time doing service at Fort Caswell 
and Fort Johnson. In 1862 the Sixty-seventh Regiment was 
organized, and Captain Devane was made lieutenant colonel. 
About this time I was appointed hospital steward by Jas. 
A. Sedden, Secretary of War. I remained at Fort Johnston 
during the epidemic of yellow fever in 1862, and of smallpox 
in the winter of the same year ; after which I was transferred 
to General Hospital No. 4, Wilmington, which comprised 
the Seamen's Home building and buildings on the opposite 
side of Front Street. Thomas M. Ritenour was surgeon and 
A. E. Wright and Josh Walker, assistant surgeons. This 
was one of the largest and best equipped hospitals in the 

"After the fall of Fort Fisher we had orders to send our 
sick and wounded to Fayetteville and Goldsboro. By the aid 
of Captain Styron and his assistant, Mr, I. B. Grainger, who 
was the best organizer and disciplinarian I ever knew, we 
succeeded in getting all except thirty-two removed to safety. 
These were so badly wounded that it was impossible to move 
them. I placed these wounded in ward No. 2 with Mrs. 
McCauslin, matron, in charge. Supplies were very scarce. 
Dr. Josh Walker was the last one to leave. He went out on 
Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning the streets were 
swarming with Federal soldiers. About 10 a. m. a surgeon 
came to our hospital and inquired who was in charge. I re- 
plied that I was in charge. He said: 'I want you to move 
everything out. I want this hospital for our use.' I replied 
that I had nowhere to go, and no way to move. 'You must 
find a house,' he replied, 'and at once, and report to me at 
headquarters. I will furnish you with transportation.' 
I did not stand on the order of my going. I found a house on 
Fourth Street near Red Cross, owned by David Bunting, 


whose family had left the city. I made the report, and the 
Federal Surgeon General ordered three ambulances. The 
transfer was soon made. I wish to state that we had courteous 
treatment from the authorities, but of course we were very 
short of supplies. The first genuine treat we had was by Mr. 
F. W. Foster, who was acting as sanitary agent. He drove 
up one morning, came in and inquired about the sick, and 
asked if I would like to have some milk punch for the men. 
I said, yes, as it had been a long time since we had had any 
such luxury. He went out and soon returned with two large 
pails and a dipper, and personally served to each all they 
could stand. This he continued to do for several weeks. On 
one of his visits he asked me if I would like to have some 
canned goods for the hospital. I replied, yes, and he said, 
'The steamer General Lyon is unloading a cargo of hospital 
supplies. If you will go down there you can get what you 
want' I replied that I had no way to get them and no 
money to hire with. He said, 'I will send you an ambu- 
lance ; go down and get what you want.' I said, 'Won't you 
give me an order V to which he replied, 'No, if any one says 
anything to you tell them Foster sent you.' The ambulance 
came. I didn't want any help. The vessel was unloading 
near where Springer's coal yard is now. We backed up and 
I began to select what I wanted. I was not at all modest, 
and thinking that this would be the last haul I would get from 
'Uncle Sam,' I loaded to the limit. Strange to say, no ques- 
tions were asked, and it is safe to say our boys fared well 
while things lasted. As the men improved they went home, 
and on the 5th of June I closed the doors. The last hero 
had gone to rebuild his broken fortunes and I felt a free man 
once more. I came out of the Army as I had entered it — 
without one dollar, but with a clear conscience, having per- 
formed my duty to my country as I saw it. From April 20th, 
1861, to June 5th, 1865, I never had a furlough or a day's 
absence from duty. 

"I cannot close without saying a word about the splendid 
women of Wilmington for their devotion and attention to 


our destitute sick and wounded during those trying times. 
I have tried to recall the names of some of them, but cannot 
do so. I fear few, if any, are living to-day." 

Capt. Elisha Porter, of Company E, Third North Caro- 
lina Eegiment, served from the beginning of the war up to 
and including the battle of Chancellorsville. During that 
engagement he penetrated within the enemy's breastworks 
and was bayonetted by a Federal soldier, and finding that he 
was about to be killed, he attempted to scale the breastworks 
and succeeded in doing so, but was shot in the thigh and ap- 
parently mortally wounded. After the battle he heard the 
voice of a friend, by whom he was taken to the Confederate 
field hospital. Dr. Porter survived for many years after the 
war, but was always crippled. 

Joseph Price was one of the first lieutenants in Company 
H, Fortieth Regiment, which was organized at Bald Head, 
at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the 1st of December, 
1863, from heavy artillery companies already in the service. 
Company H was composed principally of Irishmen, and no 
better or more loyal men or better soldiers could be found in 
any company. Whether work or fighting was to be done, they 
were always ready, and would go wherever ordered. Lieu- 
tenant Price's capture of the United States steamer Water 
Witch, by boarding in a night attack, was one of the most 
brilliant of the Confederate exploits on the water. His mod- 
est official report of this affair was characteristic of the man. 

Capt. Richard W. Price entered the Confederate serv- 
ice in October, 1864, at the age of seventeen, in the Junior 
Reserves, afterwards the Seventy-second Regiment. He 
served chiefly at Fort Fisher, and when the fort fell he was 
captured and taken a prisoner to Fort Delaware, where he 
remained until after the general surrender. When the Fort 
Fisher Survivors' Association was organized, composed of the 
Blue and the Gray, Captain Price was made secretary, and 
held that position to the time of his death. 

Capt, Robert G. Rankin was chairman of the Safety 
Committee before the outbreak of the war. At the beginning 


of the war he was made quartermaster of Wilmington, and 
was afterward made captain of the First Battalion Heavy 
Artillery. This battalion went into the battle of Benton- 
ville with 260 men and came out with 115, every officer ex- 
cept two having been killed, wounded, or captured. Captain 
Eankin was among the killed, eight balls having passed 
through his clothing. 

Capt. John T. Rankin entered the Confederate Army 
as a private, and at the youthful age of nineteen was made 
first lieutenant of Company D, First Battalion North Caro- 
lina Heavy Artillery, under Captain McCormick. He was at 
Fort Fisher during the first battle and was highly compli- 
mented by General Whiting for gallantry. During the 
second battle Captain McCormick was killed, and Lieutenant 
Eankin became captain. 

He fought at Fort Anderson, and on February 20, 1865, 
was wounded in the thigh at Town Creek and taken prisoner. 
He was treated with great courtesy by Colonel Eundell of the 
One Hundredth Ohio Regiment, and carried to the Old Cap- 
itol Prison at Washington, where he saw the crowd and com- 
motion caused by the second inauguration of President Lin- 
coln. He was afterwards sent to Fort Delaware, where he 
remained until released after the war. 

Maj. James I. Eeilly: General Whiting, in his report of 
the fall of Fort Fisher, says: "Of Major Eeilly, with his 
battalion of the Tenth North Carolina, who served the guns 
of the land fort during the entire action, I have to say he has 
added another name to the long list of fields on which he has 
been conspicuous for indomitable pluck and consummate 
skill." Colonel Lamb, in his official report, says: "Major 
Eeilly, of the Tenth North Carolina Regiment, discharged his 
whole duty. To the coolness of Major Reilly we are indebted 
for the defense of the land face." Maj. William J. Saun- 
ders, Chief of Artillery, says : "I would beg particularly to 
call attention to the skill displayed by that splendid artillerist, 
Maj. James Reilly, of the Tenth North Carolina Regiment." 

James Reilly was a sergeant in the old United States 


Army, and was in charge of Fort Johnston, when, on January 
9, 1861, it was hastily occupied by some ardent Southerners 
from Wilmington. After the State seceded he was appointed 
captain of a light battery and won fame in Virginia. On 
September 7, 1863, he was promoted to major, and John A. 
Kamsay became captain of the company. Major Eeilly was 
one of the bravest and most efficient defenders of Fort Fisher. 

A. Paul Eepiton joined the Corps of Engineers in 1863. 

C. H. Eobinson enlisted early in the war, having given up a 
good business to respond to the call of his adopted State, and 
he became quartermaster sergeant of the Fifty-first Eegi- 
ment, North Carolina Troops, in which capacity he served 
throughout the war. 

His regiment was organized at Camp Mangum, near Ea- 
leigh, September 18, 1862, Col. J. V. Jordan, commanding, 
E. E. Liles, lieutenant colonel, J. A. McKoy, major, W. H. 
Battle, surgeon, John W. Cox, quartermaster, and C. H. 
Eobinson, quartermaster sergeant. 

Frederick G. Eobinson, a native of Bennington, Vermont, 
joined his prominent relatives on the Cape Fear prior to the 
war of 1861, and, full of enthusiasm for his adopted State, 
enlisted at the beginning of hostilities in the Wilmington 
Eifle Guards, which became Company I of the Eighth Eegi- 
ment North Carolina Volunteers, and with it, and later with 
the Fortieth, he did valiant service through all the campaigns 
to the battle of Bentonville, where he was captured. He re- 
mained a prisoner of war until after the general surrender. 

The writer, an intimate, lifelong friend, who admired his 
brave and generous nature, recalls a characteristic incident in 
Sergeant Eobinson's military career. A contemptible com- 
rade having behind his back questioned his loyalty to the 
South in view of his Northern birth. Sergeant Eobinson 
stepped out of the ranks and publicly denounced the base in- 
sinuation, and offered to fight each and every man then and 
there who dared to repeat the allegation. 



Beloved bj many of his associates, his memory is still cher- 
ished in the hearts of his friends. 

Capt. Edward Savage was captain of Company D, Third 
Regiment, a company raised by him. In May, 1862, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Cowan having been promoted to the colonelcy 
of the Eighteenth North Carolina Infantry, Captain Savage 
was made major. Major Savage was wounded in the 
battle of Mechanicsville. After the death of Col. Gaston 
Meares at Malvern Hill, Major Savage became lieutenant 
colonel. He resigned after the battles around Richmond on 
account of continued ill health. 

Capt. Henry Savage was one of the organizers of the 
Wilmington Light Infantry, in 1853, in which he held the 
rank of junior second lieutenant. With this command, 
which became Company G of the Eighth, later the Eigh- 
teenth North Carolina Regiment, he entered the Confederate 
service in April, 18G1, and in June was promoted to be cap- 
tain of his company. He served in Virginia, in the brigade of 
General Branch, and participated in the battles of Hanover 
Courthouse and the Seven Days' Battles before Richmond. 
He escaped serious injury from the enemy's bullets, though 
hit several times ; but falling a victim to disease as the re- 
rult of his arduous service and exposure, he was sent to a 
hospital in Richmond, and a few days later allowed to go to 
his home on furlough. Eour or five months afterwards, hav- 
ing in a measure recovered strength, he attempted to rejoin 
his regiment, but, suffering a relapse en route, he returned 
home and accepted an honorable discharge. In the early 
part of 1863 he was appointed by President Davis collector 
of customs at the port of Wilmington and depositary for the 
Confederate States Treasury, and the duties of this position 
occupied him until the close of the struggle for independence. 
After the fall of Fort Fisher he retired to Raleigh, and es- 
tablishing his office in a box car, moved west as necessity de- 
manded until the fall of the government. 

Daniel Shackelford enlisted with Company I, Eighth 
Regiment, and served in it for twelve months. He reenlisted 


in the Sixtj-first Regiment and became first lieutenant, and 
was killed at the battle of Fraser's Farm. His brother Theo- 
dore, who was in the same command, and who was also in the 
hospital with him, died literally of a broken heart, grieving 
because of the death of his brother. 

Dr. Joseph C. Shepard, of Wilmington, was born in l!Tew 
Hanover County in 1840. Early in the fall of 1861 he en- 
listed in the Confederate States service, and being commis- 
sioned assistant surgeon, was assigned to duty on the coast, 
with Adams' battery. In the fall of 1864 he was transferred 
to Fort Fisher, where he remained through the first bombard- 
ment and the second, at the latter being captured with the 
brave defenders. He was sent as a prisoner of war to Gov- 
ernors Island and held there until early in March following, 
when he was returned to duty in ISTorth Carolina and assigned 
to the hospital at Greensboro, where he remained until after 
the surrender. 

Rev. James A. Smith as a boy participated in the War be- 
tween the States, manifesting the same courage and energy 
which have characterized his subsequent life. At the age of 
seventeen he enlisted as a private in the Confederate service 
in Company D, First ^orth Carolina Heavy Artillery, Jan- 
uary 13, 1865, and was given a position as courier for Major 
General Whiting. While serving in this capacity he was 
with the troops at Fort Fisher, and on January 15, 1865, 
during the bombardment and assault of that stronghold, was 
wounded. He was taken prisoner with the garrison and con- 
fined for six months at Point Lookout, being released June 
9, 1865. 

Maj. James Martin Stevenson entered the Army of the 
Confederacy at the beginning of the war as first lieutenant of 
a company raised by Capt. J. J. Hedrick. 

Soon after the seizure of Fort Johnston, Lieutenant Steven- 
son was ordered to Fort Caswell as ordnance officer, and while 
there three young men from Sampson County raised a com- 
pany and offered him the captaincy, which he accepted. This 
company was attached to the Thirty-sixth Regiment and 


ordered to Fort Fisher, where Captain Stevenson was made 
major of the regiment. Major Stevenson remained at Fort 
Fisher until he was ordered to reinforce General Hardee in 
Georgia. There he was highly complimented for his cool 
bravery and tact in covering General Hardee's retreat. He 
took with him to Georgia five companies from the Thirty- 
sixth Regiment. 

Major Stevenson was again remanded to his regiment at 
Fort Fisher, where he arrived just after the attack of Decem- 
ber, 1864. On the 13th of January, 1865, the attack was 
renewed. In the battle Whiting and Lamb were wounded, 
and Major Stevenson was hurled from the parapet by the 
explosion of an eleven-inch shell. He fell bleeding in the 
fort below the battery and was carried a prisoner to Fort 
Columbus, Governors Island, 'N. Y., where he died. He did 
his whole duty and did it well. Wilmington had no nobler 

James C. Stevenson and Daniel S. Stevenson were worthy 
sons of Maj. James M. Stevenson, of Wilmington. Both 
enlisted in the Confederate Army when they were much below 
the service age limit. James, for a time, was employed on 
the North Carolina steamer Advance; afterwards he served 
in the field as a private in Company A, Thirty-sixth Eegi- 
ment, North Carolina Troops. He survived the war, and was 
for many years a prominent merchant, a most estimable citi- 
zen, and an active Christian worker. He died April 13, 1907, 
lamented by the community. 

Daniel Stevenson was an efficient member of the Con- 
federate States Signal Corps, and was detailed for active 
service with the blockade runners, on several of which he 
served with great coolness under fire. He was captured in 
1865 off Galveston and imprisoned until the war ended. His 
last exploit was running through the blockade in daylight in 
the steamer Little Hattie, which drew the fire of the whole 
fleet, but anchored comparatively uninjured under the guns of 
Fort Fisher. Dan Stevenson was a young man of most amia- 
ble, generous impulses, and was greatly esteemed by his asso- 


ciates for many excellent qualities. He died shortly after the 
termination of the war. 

Capt. William M. Stevenson was elected one of the lieu- 
tenants of Company B, Sixty-first Regiment of North Caro- 
lina Troops, of which James D. Eadcliffe of Wilmington was 
colonel and William S. Devane lieutenant-colonel and subse- 
quently colonel. At the battle of Fort Harrison, in Virginia, 
September, 1864, while in command of the company, to 
which position he had succeeded, he was captured and taken 
to Fort Delaware, where he was confined until the surrender. 

Captain Stevenson's service in the field was continuous 
from his enlistment in 1861 up to the last of 1864, including 
the action at Fort Hatteras and the campaigns of the Army 
of !N'orthern Virginia. 

Rev. Dr. James Menzies Sprunt was chaplain of the Twen- 
tieth Regiment, North Carolina Troops, commanded by Col. 
Iverson, in Garland's brigade, D. H. Hill's division, under 
Stonewall Jackson. General Hill, who greatly admired him, 
said he was one of the few chaplains who was always at the 
front on the battlefield. He served throughout the war, 
revered by the men of his regiment, and beloved at his home, 
in Duplin County, throughout his honored life. 

Maj. Matthew P. Taylor was major of the Sixth Battalion 
Armory Guards. The battalion was as well drilled and as 
thoroughly disciplined as any command in the Confederate 

Capt. John F. S. Van Bokkelen left Harvard College in 
1861 and returned to Wilmington, where he aided in raising 
a company which was assigned to the Third North Carolina 
Infantry as Company D, Edward Savage, captain; E. G. 
Meares, first lieutenant ; and Mr. Van Bokkelen, second lieu- 
tenant. He served through the Seven Days' Battles around 
Richmond, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville 
with conspicuous bravery. 

After the Seven Days' Battles around Richmond he was 
promoted to first lieutenant, and he acted as adjutant of the 
company for some time. After the battle of Sharpsburg he 


was promoted to be captain of the company, Captain Meares 
having been killed. Captain Van Bokkelen was wounded at 
the battle of Chancellorsville, and died within a month after- 

It was with genuine grief that the death of Captain Van 
Bokkelen, which occurred in Eichmond, was announced to 
the regiment while on the march in the campaign of 1863. 
He was universally popular and almost idolized by his own 
men. He was but twenty-one years of age, and full of youth- 
ful ardor, intelligent, and with an acute conception of his 
duties and an indomitable energy in pursuing the line of 
conduct which a discriminating judgment dictated to him. 
To him, possibly, more than to any other officer, was due 
the high morale to which the company attained. His surviv- 
ing classmates of Jewett's school still remember the sterling 
character of this worthy son of the Cape Fear, who was gen- 
erally beloved for his unselfish, kindly nature and genial 

Eev. Dr. Alfred A. Watson was chaplain of the Second 
Eegiment, and, besides his clerical duties, gave valuable 
service as a scout. His information of the topography of 
the country was of great value to the commanding officer. 
He had the profound respect of every man. He was com- 
missioned the 21st of June, 1861, and resigned in 1862. 
He preached in Wilmington many years after the war, and 
was Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina from 1874 until 
his death. 

Capt. O. A. Wiggins, a gallant veteran of Lane's brigade, 
entered the service as a private in the Scotland Neck Mounted 
Eiflemen, organized in his native county, and subsequently 
was promoted to lieutenant of Company E, Thirty-seventh 
Eegiment, in the brigade then commanded by General Branch, 
and later by General Lane. With this command he went 
through the entire war, participating in the battles of Han- 
over Courthouse, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Eraser's 
Farm, Cedar Eun, Second Manassas, Ox Hill, Sharpsburg, 
Harper's Ferry, Shepherdstown, Fredericksburg, Chancel- 


lorsville, Gettysburg, Falling Waters, Bristow Station, Mine 
Eun, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Courthouse, Eeams Sta- 
tion, Jones' Farm, Hare's Hill, and the fighting on the Peters- 
burg lines until they were broken. He was wounded at Chan- 
cellorsville. At Spottsylvania Courthouse, May 12 th, he was 
promoted to captain on the field, and was wounded on the 
same field May 21st; at Petersburg, April 2d, he was shot in 
the head and made prisoner. While being conveyed to John- 
sons Island, he escaped by jumping from a car window 
while the train was at full speed, near Harrisburg, Pa., 
after which he disguised himself and worked his way back 
to Dixie. 

Capt. J. Marshall Williams, of Fayetteville, entered the 
Confederate service in the Bethel Regiment as a private. 
When the regiment was disbanded he and Col. K. M. 
Murchison organized a company of 125 men, which was as- 
signed to the Fifty-fourth Regiment. After the Fifty-fourth 
Regiment was organized, it was sent immediately to Lee's 
army and assigned to Hood's brigade. When Hood was pro- 
moted. Gen. Robert F. Hoke succeeded to the command. The 
brigade was composed of the 6th, 21st, 54th, and 57th Regi- 
ments and was in Jackson's corps. This brigade was under 
six or eight different commanders, but was always known as 
Hoke's old brigade. It was in most of Lee's battles. When 
the regiment was captured at Fredericksburg, Captain Wil- 
liams was on detached service and absent. 

Having no command, he was then detailed to command 
sharpshooters in different regiments until his regiment was 
exchanged. He had the rank of captain and was adjutant 
and inspector general ; saw his regiment overpowered and cap- 
tured twice ; and on the latter occasion he made his escape 
by swimming the Rapidan River near Brandy Station. He 
was wounded once, and had his shoulder dislocated by a 
fall. He surrendered at Appomattox as second senior officer 
of the regiment, and rode home on a horse that had been with 
Hoke's staff for two years and wounded twice. 

Capt. A. B. Williams, of Fayetteville, entered the Con- 


federate service at the age of eighteen as second lieutenant of 
Company C, Light Battery, Tenth Eegiment, organized at 
Charlotte, May 16, 1861, and was promoted to captain 
March 1, 1864. He was first ordered to Ealeigh, then to 
New Bern, and various other places in eastern North Caro- 
lina, and was in many of the gTeat battles, including Mal- 
vern Hill, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court- 
house, where he was severely wounded, Petersburg, and Appo- 
mattox Courthouse. He was attached to Pogue's battalion, 
Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, and went with 
Lee's army to Maryland and Pennsylvania. 

His battery is supposed to have fired one of the last, if not 
the last, shot at Appomattox. He was subsequently mayor 
of Fayetteville, chairman of County Commissioners, captain 
of the Lafayette Light Infantry, president of the Centen- 
nial Celebration, and delegate to State and National con- 

From a eulogy by Colonel Broadfoot, a fellow member of 
U. C. V. Camp, the following is taken : 

Comrades: — This time it is an artilleryman — Capt. 
Arthur Butler Williams, of Brem's Battery, Army of North- 
ern Virginia, Company C, Tenth Eegiment, North Caro- 
lina Troops, whose g-uns fired the last shot at Appomattox 
which will echo and reecho to the last syllable of recorded 
time, and gladden all hearts ready and worthy to do and die 
for country. In the sixty-first year of his age he passed 
quietly to his rest. 

He was of fine presence, good manners, pleasing address, 
and withal plain as a pikestaff. His habits were exemplary, 
his principles sound, his character the highest; in the com- 
munity, in fact in this part of the State, everybody knew him, 
everybody respected, and those who knew him best, loved him. 

We shall miss his manly form, his cheerful greeting — the 
eyes that looked you squarely in the face, but always pleas- 
antly. The open hands are now folded, palm downward ; the 
tongue that always voiced the bright side, and was never — no 
never — ^known to grumble, has been hushed. 


Comrades, let us speak more often the kindly word, extend 
more readily the helping hand to each other; and let each 
soldier keep his armor bright against that day, when each in 
turn shall be called to pass inspection before the great Cap- 
tain — ''Close up." 

Capt. Robert Williams became captain of the Rifle 
Guards, but having resigned, he was appointed purser of the 
blockade runner Index, and died of yellow fever while in that 

Capt. David Williams, of the Burgaw section of New 
Hanover, raised Company K of the Third Regiment of State 
Troops, and was one of the most valued officers of that regi- 
ment. He had the esteem, confidence, and affection of his 
soldiers to a remarkable degree. 

Thomas Fanning Wood, in April, 1861, joined the Wil- 
mington Rifle Guards, which later became Company I, Eighth 
Regiment of Volunteers. In November, 1861, the regiment 
was hurried to Coosawhatchie to confront the Federals who 
had landed on the South Carolina coast; and in the spring 
of 1862, it joined Jackson's corps in Virginia. 

Doctor Wood was often called on to help the sick soldiers in 
the hospitals, and after the Seven Days' Battles around Rich- 
mond he was ordered to hospital duty. When Dr. Otis F. 
Manson, of Richmond Hospital, learned that he was a medi- 
cal student, he secured from the Secretary of War an order 
detailing him for duty at the hospital, with the privilege of 
attending lectures at the Virginia Medical College. Doctor 
Manson had brought his library to Richmond with him, and 
gave Doctor Wood free access to it. In 1862, after passing 
the examination by the Medical Board, Doctor Wood was 
appointed assistant surgeon and served in that capacity until 
the end of the war. 

After the war. Doctor Wood attained eminence in his pro- 
fession. He served many years as Secretary of the State Med- 
ical Society, and he established and edited until his death 
the Medical Journal, a publication, highly valued by his 
professional brethren. 


John L. Wooster was first lieutenant of Company E, First 
Regiment. He was wounded in the shoulder at one of the 
Seven Days' Battles around Eichmond in 1SG2, and disabled 
from further service. 

William A. Wooster, private, Company I, Eighteenth 
Eegiment, was killed in the Seven Days' fight in Virginia. 
He was one of the brightest young men of the Cape Fear. He 
had been commissioned lieutenant before he was killed. 

Adam Empie Wright was commissioned the 20th of July, 
1862, as assistant surgeon of the New Hanover County 
hospital in Wilmington. 

Thomas Charles Wright, sergeant major, was one of the 
brightest and best of the Wilmington boys who went from 
Jewett's school to the War between the States. Fired with 
the enthusiasm of youth and manly courage, he served with 
great credit in the Virginia campaigns and was mortally 
wounded in the head, and died at a hospital in Richmond. 

Capt. James A. Wright, son of Dr. Thomas H. Wright, 
was captain of Company E, First Regiment. He was killed 
in the battles around Richmond. He was the most brilliant 
young man of Wilmington — and of the State — and his early 
death was greatly deplored. 

Lieut. Joshua Granger Wright first enlisted for mili- 
tary duty in the spring of 1862, becoming the orderly ser- 
geant of an independent cavalry company. But he was with 
this command not more than four or five weeks when he 
became a member of the First North Carolina Infantry, 
which had been on duty in Virginia since July, 1861. In 
this regiment he was commissioned first lieutenant of Com- 
pany E. The regiment was part of Ripley's brigade, D. H. 
Hill's division, and served with great credit in the battles of 
Boonsboro, or South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, 
and Chancellorsville. At the last battle, while participating 
in the gallant assault by Jackson's corps, he was seriously 
wounded, a shot passing through his left hip. This caused 
his entire disability until the spring of 1864, when he at- 
tempted to reenter the service, but soon found it impossible 


to undertake duty in the field. Returning to Wilmington, 
he was assigned to duty in the office of the provost marshal 
for several months. He made two more attempts to enter the 
field, without success, the last bringing him in the vicinity 
of Raleigh en route to Lee's army, when he received the 
news of its surrender. 

Charles W. Yates enlisted in 1862 in an independent 
cavalry company organized from several counties, which be- 
came Company E, of the Forty-first Regiment, North Caro- 
lina Troops. During nearly the whole of his service he 
acted as courier for Col. John A. Baker and his successor. 
Col. Roger Moore. Among the cavalry engagements in which 
he took part were those at New Bern, Kinston, Hanover 
Courthouse, Reams Station, Ashland, Chaffin's Farm, Drew- 
ry's Bluff and Petersburg. He was slightly wounded in the 
skirmish near Kinston; and just after the fall of New Bern 
in June, 1862, he was captured and imprisoned in a jail at 
that place several months, and afterwards held nearly two 
months at Governors Island and Fort Delaware, before he was 
exchanged. During the retreat at Appomattox Courthouse, 
he was captured in the fight at Namozine Church, April 6th, 
and after that he was a prisoner of war at Point Lookout 
until June, 1865. 

Doubtless many examples of faithful, efficient,^ and ever 
heroic service have been overlooked in the preparation of this 
record, although diligent inquiries have been made in order 
that it might be as nearly complete as possible. To this end 
I have been permitted to copy the roster of Cape Fear Camp, 
IT. C. v., although it may be said that it comprises only a 
part of that great number of Wilmington men who served 
the Confederacy in the AVar between the States. 
Alderman, Allison 

Alderman, G. F. 
Private Co. I, lOth N. C 


Atkinson, John W. 

Col. 10th Va. Artillery Died Oct. 26, 1910. 

Baldwin, A, M. 

Private Co. K, 40th N. C 

Barry, John 

Sergt. Co. E, 1st N. C Died Mar. 28, 1914. 

Bear, Solomon 

Private Howard's Cavalry Died Feb. 24, 1904. 

Bellamy, W. J. H. 

Private Co. I, 18th N. C Died Nov. 18, 1911. 

Belden, Louis S. 

Sergt. Co. E, 10th N. C Died June 8, 1914. 

Bernard, W. H. 

Private Co. H, Bethel Regiment 

Bishop, C. W. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C 

Bishop, H. M. 

Private Co. H, 3d N. C 

Blackwell, Rev. C. S. 

Sergt. Co. F, 2d Va Removed to Norfolk, Va. 

Blanks, Wm. 

Non-Com. Staff, 61st N. C Died Feb. 26, 1904. 

Bolles, C. P. 

Captain P. A. C. S Died 1910 or 1911. 

Boatwright, J. L. 

Captain P. A. C. S 

Boatwright, J. H. 

Private 1st Bat. S. C. Cadets Died Jan. 27, 1911. 

Boney, G. J. 

Corp. Co. H, 40th N. C 

Bowden, W. B. 

Private Co. H, 3d Cavalry Died Mar. 15, 1903. 

Brown, A. D. 

Lieut. Co. C, Cumming's Battery 

Brown, E. A. 

Private Co. C, 4th Artillery Died June 26, 1905. 

Brown, Geo. L. 

Hart's Battery, Va Sent to Richmond 1909. 

Brown, I. H. 

Private Co. K, 3d N. C Died May 5, 1892. 

Brown, T. A. 

Sergt. 36th N. C Died Aug. 14, 1902. 

Bunting, T. O. 

Private Co. C, 5th Cavalry Died June 20, 1913. 

Burr, Ancrum 

Lieut. Co. D, 36th N. C Removed. 

Burr, Jas. G. 

Col. 7th Bat. H. G Died Nov. 13, 1898. 

Calder. Wm. 

Adjt. 1st Bat. Artillery 

Cantwell, J. L. 
Col. 51st N. C Died Dec. 21, 1909. 


Capps, T. J. 
Corp. Co. E, 3d N. C 

Carman, Sam'l 

Private Co. E, 56th N. C Died Apr. 17, 1902. 

Carmichael, Rev. James 
Chaplain, 30th Va Died Nov. 25, 1911. 

Cazaux, A. D. 

Capt. A. Q. M., 18th N. C 

Chadwick, RoM. 
Private Co. K, 3d N. C 

Chapman, Louis 
Private Co. D, 2d Cavalry 

Cobb, John G. 
Private Co. C, 1st Bat. Artillery 

Collier, Sam. P. 

Sergt. Maj. 2d N. C 

Cook, A. B. 
Sergt. Co. I, 18th N. C Died Jan. 12, 1908. 

Corbett, R. A. 
Private Co. C, 4th Cavalry 

Cornish, F. W. 
Private Co. H, 51st N. C 

Cornish, W. A. 
Private Co. H, 18th N. C 

Cowan, M. S. 

Capt. Co. I, 3d N, C Died Mar. 24, 1900. 

Cowles, Chas. L. 

Capt. Co. B, 56th N. C Died Oct. 9, 1901. 

Cox, R. E. 
Private Co. B, S. C. Cavalry 

Crapon, Geo. M. 

Lieut. Co. H, 3d N. C 

Crow, J. E. 
Sergt. Co. E, 12th Va Died Nov. 4, 1907. 

Cumming, J. D. 

Capt. Cumming's Battery Died Nov. 26, 1901, 

Cumming, Preston 
Sergt. Cumming's Battery 

Currie, Jno. H. 
Private 5th Cavalry To Fayetteville Camp 

Casteen, J. B. 
Orderly Sergt. Co. D, 3d N. C 

Cannon, J. W. 
Private Co. G, 20th N. C 

Cannon, Alfred 

* * :): 4: * « « 

Cox, T. B. 

Private Co. F, 67th N. C 

Cox, A. F. 


Daves, Graham 

Major, P. A. C. S Resigned Feb. 1, 1890. 

Davis, Jackson 
Sergt. Co. K, 5th N. C Died Mar. 12, 1902. 


Davis, Junius 
Corp. Co. E, 10th N. C 

Davis, M. T. 

Private Co. A, 35tli N. C 

DeRosset, A. L. 

Capt. P. A. C. S Died Feb., 1910. 

DeRosset, Wm. L. 
Col. 3d N. C Died Aug. 14, 1910. 

Dicltey, J. J. 
Private Co. D, 3d N. C Died Nov. 11, 1911. 

Diclcsey, J. W. 
Private Co. E, 10th N. C Died Aug. 31, 1899. 

Divine, J. F. 
Capt. A. Q. M., C. S. A Died Aug. 20, 1909. 

Dixon, W. M. 
Private Co. G, 10th N. C 

Dowdy, W. R. 
Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died Dec. 10, 1911. 

Darden, R. J. 
Goldsboro Provost Guard 

Elliott, W. P. 
Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died May 20, 1894. 

Evans, A. H. 

Died 1911 or 1912. 

Everett, John A. 
Private Co. I, 10th N. C 

Farrior, S. R. 
Lieut. Co. A, 43d N. C 

Farrow, J. A. 
Private Co. E, 10th N. C Died Feb., 1911. 

Farrow, Benj. 
Private Co. E, 10th N. C Died Oct. 14, 1911. 

Fennell, Owen 

Lieut. Co. C, 1st N. C Died July 6, 1910. 

Fillyaw, DeLeon 
Corp. Co. A, 40th N. C Died Jan. 27, 1904. 

Fillyaw, O. M. 
Private Co. A, 40th N. C 

French, W. R. 

Private Co. E, 51st N. C Died 

Gaither, W. W. 
Surgeon 28th N. C Died 

Ganzer, C. H. 

Private Howard's Cavalry Died May 22, 1899. 

Garrell, Jacob F. 
Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died May 29, 1891. 

Giles, Clayton 

Private Co. I, 53d N. C 

Giles, Norwood 

Private Co. E, 10th N. C Died Dec. 11, 1899. 

Goodman, Wm. 
Private Co. A, 1st Bat. Artillery Died Apr. 3, 1911. 


Gore, D. L. 

Private Co. D, 72d N. C 

Gray, Jesse W. 

Private Co. B, 3d Cavalry Died Apr. 18, 1911. 

Green, W. H. o -.o-i.. 

Sergt. Maj. Starr's Battery Died Jan. 12, 1914. 

Hall, B. F. 

Sergt. Co. A, 43d N. C 

Hall, E. D. 

Col.46tliN.C Died June 11, 1896. 

Hall, S. G. 

Private Co. E, 21st N. C Died July 31, 1911. 

Hamme, R. F. 

Private Co. G, 30th N. C 

Hanby, John H. 

Private Co. B, 16th Va Died Apr. 22, 1910. 

Hanby, Jos. H. 

Private Co. B, 16th Va Died Sept. 8,1905. 

Hancock, J. T. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C 

Hankins, J. A. , ^^^^ 

Private Co. C, Starr's Battery Died July. 1910. 

Hankins, A. G. 

Lieut. Co. H, 3d Cavalry 

Hankins, W. M. 

Private Co. H, 3d Cavalry 

Harper, John H. 

Private Co. H, 3d N. C Died 

Harriss, W. W. 

Asst. Surgeon Died 

Hawkins, J. W. 

Private Co. A, 1st Bat. Artillery 

Hayden, P. H. 

Private Co. C, 19th Va Died 

Heide, A. S. ^^^^ 

Private Co. A, 5th Cavalry Resigned Feb. 4, 1901. 

Heide, R. E. „ ^^^^ 

Private Co. H, 1st N. C Died June 13, 1905. 

Heinsberger, P. 

Private Co. C, Starr's Battery 

Henderson, T. B. _„„„ 

Lieut. Co. H. 3d Cavalry Died Mar. 10, 1890. 

Hewett, Jas. H. 

Sergt. Co. F, 3d N. C Died Mar. 20, 1913. 

Hicks, Jas. H. 

Private Co. F, 3d N. C Died Nov. 9, 1908. 

Hill, A. J. 

Sergt. Co. C, 4th Cavalry Died 

Hill, Owen C 
Private Co. G, 3d N. C Died Sept. 2, 1904. 


Hines, John W. 
Private Co. D, 3d N. C Died Feb. 27, 1906. 

Hodges, L. W. 
Private 16th Va 

Hodges, T. A. 

Co. E, 15th Bat. Artillery 

Huggins, Geo. W. 
Lieut. Co. I, 18th N. C 

Huggins, J. B. 
Capt. A. Q. M., C. S. A Died May 16, 1910. 

Hawes, J. J. 
Sergt. Co. G, 20th N. C 

James, Josh T. 

Lieut. Co. I, 18th N. C Died Nov. 13, 1899. 

Jewett, Stephen 
Private Co. K, 44th Ga 

Jones, Geo. T. 
Lieut. Co. E, 50th N. C 

Keeter, Elijah 

Private Co. D, 3d N. C Died 

Kelly, D. C. 
Private Co. B, 36th N. C 

Kelly, Jas. E. 

Private Co. K, 20th N. C Died Nov. 2, 1910. 

Kenly, John R. 
Private Co. A, 1st Md. Cavalry 

Kenan, W. R. 
Adjt. 43d N. C Died Apr. 14, 1903. 

King, Chas. H. 
Q. S. 61st N. C Died 1909 or 1910. 

King, Jas. A 
Private Co. A, 3d Cavalry 

King, Jas. A. 
Private Co. B, 10th N. C 

King, Jas. M. 
Private Co. F, 3d N. C 

King, John M. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died Dec, 1912. 

King, T. E. 

Sergt. Co. I, 10th N. C Died Dec. 1, 1911. 

King, W. H. 
Private Co. A, 3d Cavalry 

Latta, John R. 

Adjt. 51st N. C Died June 30. 1898. 

Lee, J. B. 

Leon, L. 

Private Co. C, 1st N. C 

Leslie, Alex. 

Private Co. G, 18th N. C 

Leslie, Jos. H. 
Private Co. G, 18th N. C Died Sept. 13, 1896. 


Lewis, Thos. C. 

Capt. Co. I, 18th N. C Died Nov. 14, 1909. 

Lippitt, Thos. B. 

Lieut. Co. G, 51st N. C Died Dec. 21, 1898. 

Littleton, D. C. 

Private Co. H, 41st N. C 

Loftin, Dr. I. C. M. 

Co. E, 20th M Died 

Love, Rich. S. 

Sergt. Co. C, 4th Cavalry Died 

Love, Thad. D. 

Maj. 24th N. C Died Jan. 6, 1892. 

Lumsden, H. C. 

Private Co. E, 1st N. C 

MacRae, W. G. 

Capt. Co. C, 7th N. C 

Manning, E. W. 

Chief Engineer, C. S. N Died Dec. 10, 1900. 

Martin, E. S. 

Lieut. 1st Bat. Artillery 

Marshall, J. R. 

Private Co. E, 3d N. C 

Mason, W. H. 

Private Co. E, 3d N. C 

Matthews, D. W. 

Private Co. C, 1st Battery 

Matthews, J. E. 

Sergt. Sharpshooters Dropped hy request Apr. 9, 1910. 

Meares, O. P. 

Lieut. Col. 18th N. C Died Nov. 21, 1906. 

Meares, T. D. 

Courier, Wade Hampton 

Merritt, Joseph, 

Private, 18th N. C Died Aug. 12, 1904. 

Merritt, L. W. 

Metts, J. I 

Capt. Co. G, 3d N. C 

Mitchell, Frank H. 

Private Co. 1, 18th N. C Died Feb. 28, 1899. 

Mintz, W. W. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died Sept. 15, 1897. 

Montgomery, Jas. A. 

Private Co. B, 36th N. C 

Moore, Benj. R. 

Lieut. Col. Gen. Bates' Staff Died Apr. 12, 1894. 

Moore, E. H. 

Lieut. Co. D, 7th N. C 

Moore, Ed. J. 

Sergt. Co. G, 18th N. C Died May 12, 1891. 

Moore, Roger 
Lieut. Col. 3d N. C Died Apr. 21, 1900. 



Moore, W. A. 

Private Co. K, 36th N. C Died Apr. 25, 1906. 

Moore, W. H. 

Private Co. A, 1st Cav 

Morton, Rev. P. C. 

Chaplain, 23d Va Died Feb. 28, 1903. 

Mott, A. J. 

Private Co. G, 61st N. C 

Munn, D. 

Capt. Co. B, 36th N. C Died Feb., 1905. 

Myers, Chas. D. 

Capt. P. A. C. S Died Oct. 2, 1892. 

Myrry, R. S. 
* * * ^a i). if if 

McClammy, Chas. W. 

Major, 3d Cavalry Died Feb. 26, 1896. 

McClammy, Chas. W. 

Private Co. F, 3d N. C Died Nov. 19, 1900. 

McEvoy, John 

Lieut. Co. A, 2d N. C Died Nov. 21, 1896. 

McGirt, A. G. 

Private Co. D, 46th N. C Died Aug. 22, 1890. 

McGowan, Jas. M. 

Capt. A. Q. M Died June 20, 1903. 

Mclntire, R. M. 

Capt. Co. C, 4th Cavalry Died Apr. 17, 1913. 

Mclver, J. T. 

Private Co. G, 48th N. C Died Feb. 24, 1907. 

McKeithan, R. W. 

Corp. Co. E, 10th N. C 

McKoy, T. Hall 

Major Lane's Staff Died May 10, 1902, 

McMillan, W. D. 

Sergt. Maj. 51st N. C 

McQueen, H. C. 

Private Co. D, 1st Bat. Artillery 

Nobles, S. W. 

Capt. Co. K, 61st N. C Died Feb. 16, 1904. 

Northrop, W. H. 

Capt. A. Q. M., 3d N. C 

Oldham, Wm. P. 

Capt. Co. K, 44th N. C 

Ormsby, Jas. O. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C 

Ortman, F. W. 

Private Co. A, 25th S. C Died April 22, 191L 

Pearce, E. L. 

Capt. Co. E, 26th Ga.... Died 

Pgtssg a B 

Lieut. Co. F, 56th M .'...... Died Oct. 13, 1893. 

Pickett, J. H. 
Private Co. B, 1st Bat. Artillery 


Pinner, J. L. 

Private Co. A, 1st Bat. Artillery 

Poisson, J. D. 

Sergt. Co. G, 18th N. C Died Jan. 11, 1911. 

Porter, Elijah 

Capt. Co. E, 3d N. C Died July 1, 1907. 

Potter, Dr. F. W. 

Surgeon, 50th N. C Died June 1, 1893. 

Pratt, D. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died 

Prempert, H. C. 

Sergt. Co. H, 2d N. C Died Sept. 17, 1896. 

Price, Joseph 

Commander C. S. N Died May 15, 1895. 

Price, R. W. 

Private Co. D, 72d N. C Died Nov. 25, 1909. 

Primrose, Jno. W. 

Capt. A. C. S., 1st Cavalry Resigned Dec. 29, 1890. 

Rankin, R. G. 

Private Co. A, 1st Bat. Artillery Died June 28, 1913. 

Rankin, J. T. 

Lieut. Co. D, 1st Bat. Artillery 

Reaves, Calvin 

Private Co. G, 61st N. C 

Reaves, J. F. A. 

Private Co. F, 3d N. C Died June 27, 1908. 

Reaves, R. M. 

Private Co. E, 18th N. C 

Rivenbark, W. W. 

Private Co. F, 20th N. C Died Nov. 25, 1904. 

Roberts, B. M. 

Private Co. C, 13th Battery Died Feb. 4, 1903. 

Robinson, Chas. H. 

Quartermaster, 31st N. C 

Rogers, J. M. 

Private Co. B, 1st Bat. Artillery 

Ruark, J. H. 

Sergt. Co. F, 3d N. C 

Russell, B. R. 

Asst. Engr. C. S. N Died Dec. 15, 1906. 

Savage, Henry 

Capt. Co. G, 18th N. C Died Aug. 1, 1904. 

Scharf, E. 

Private 1st Bat. Ala. Cavalry Removed to New York. 

Schenck, N. W. 

Captain A. C. S 

Schriver, Eli 

Private Co. H, 3d N. C. Cavalry 

Sharp, John H. 

Private 13th Bat. Va. Artillery 

Shepard, Dr. J. C. 
Asst. Surgeon C. S. A Died Mar. 4, 1903. 


Shepard, T. A, 

Lieut. Co. G, 18th N. C Died July 5, 1899. 

Shutte, John T. 

Corp. Starr's Battery Removed to New York. 

Sikes, R. J. 

Private Co. H, 3d N. C 

Skipper, Josh G. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died Dec. 18, 1904. 

Smith, H. H. 

Lieut. Co. A, 5th N. C Died Aug. 24, 1908. 

Smith, Rev. J. A. 

Private Co. I, N. C. Artillery 

Smith, M. K. 

Private Co. D, 72d N. C 

Smith, Peter H. 

Private Co. F, 3d N. C Died 

Smith, T. Jeff. 

Private Co. I, 18th N. C 

Sneeden, S. J. 

Private Co. A, 3d N. C Died Dec. 7, 1910. 

Southerland, D. D. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died June 14, 1900. 

Southerland, T. J. 

Capt. Co. I, 10th N. C Died Feb. 18, 189L 

Spooner, W. T. 

Co. F, 3d N. C 

Stedman, C. M. 

Major 44th N. C Greensboro, N. C. 

Stevenson, J. C. 

Private Co. A, 36th N. C Died Apr. 13, 1907. 

Stevenson, W. M. 

Capt. Co. B, 61st N. C 

Stolter, Henry 

Private Co. A, 18th N. C Died Oct. 5, 1896. 

Stolter, John F. 

Private Co. A, 18th N. C Died Dec. 27, 1903. 

Story, S. A. 

Private Co. I, 10th N. C Died 

Sutton, D. M. 

Private Co. K, 18th N. C Died 

Swain, S. A. 

Private Co. C, 1st Bat. Artillery Died Feb. 11, 1899. 

Sykes, Thos. P. 

Private 3d N. C. Cavalry 

Taylor, James H. 

Adjt. 51st N. C 

Taylor, John D. 

Lieut. Col. 36th N. C Died May 21, 1912. 

Taylor, J. J. 

Private Co. H, 3d Cavalry Died Apr. 29, 1902. 

Taylor, Lewis 

Private Co. B, 1st Bat. Artillery Died Oct. 8, 1912. 

Taylor, M. P. 


Tilley, Geo. F. 

Private Co. H, 18th N. C Died May 9, 1905. 

Turrentine, J. R. 

Hart's Bat. Light Artillery 

Ulmer, J. H. 

Died Sept. 2, 1910. 

Van Amringe, Stacy 
Capt. Co. G, 61st N. C Died Jan. 2, 1897. 

Voss, John G. 
Private Co. A, 18th N. C Died July 19, 1890. 

Waddell, A. M. 

Lieut. Col. 3d N. C Died Mar. 17, 1912. 

Walker, J. Alvis 

Private Co. E, 2d Eng. C. S. A Died Sept, 29, 1912. 

Walker, John M. 
Ord. Sergt. Co. F, 2d N. C. Battery 

Walker, J. P. 
Private Co. E, 18th N. C Died 1909 or 1910. 

W^allace J. P 

Color Corps, Co. C, 51st N. C. ...'...'.. .' Died Oct., 1911. 

Ward, C. H. 
Private Co. G, 10th N. C 

Warrock, E. S. 
Corp. Ga. Artillery Removed. 

Warrock, W. S. 
Capt. Co. B, 1st Ala, Cavalry Died Mar. 19, 1900. 

Watkins, L. A. 

Private Co. D, 5th N. C. Battery 

Watson, Rt, Rev. A. A. 
Chaplain 2d N. C Died Apr. 21, 1905. 

Watson, A. W. 
Private Co. F, 7th N. C 

Weill, Abram 
Medical Department Withdrawn. 

West, John W. 

Sergt. Co. D, 36th N, C 

White, B. F. 

Lieut. Co. I, 18th N. C Died June 23, 1903. 

Wiggs, Alex. W. 
Sergt. Co. D, 36th N. C Died Aug. 30, 1906. 

Wiggins, O. A. 
Capt. Co. E, 36th N. C Resigned May 10, 1902. 

Wilder, Jesse 
Lieut. Co. C, 4th Cavalry 

Wilkins, W. L. 

Corp. Co, F, 3d N, C Died Aug. 31, 1908, 

Williams, Geo, W. 
Private Co. F, 3d N, C 

Williams, J. A. 
Private Co. G, 3d N. C. Cavalry 

Williams, J. R. 
Sergt. Co. H, S. C. V 


Wood, Dr. Thos. F. 

Asst. Surg. 3d N. C Died Aug. 22, 1895. 

Woodcock, Geo. W. 

Lieut. Co. E, 18th N. C Died Feb. 10, 1896. 

Woodcock, Henry M. 

Private Co. E, 18th N. C Removed to Georgia. 

Woodward, W. J. 

Private Co. H, 1st N. C Died Oct. 11, 1907. 

Wooten, Edward 

Lieut. Co. B, 5th Cavalry Withdrawn. 

Wright, Josh G. 

Lieut. Co. E, 1st N. C Died Dec. 30, 1900. 

Yates, C. W. 
Co. E, 3d Cavalry 

Yopp, F. V. B. 
Lieut. Co. G, 51st N. C Died Dec. 29, 1894. 


Col. William Lamb, who was in command of Fort Fisher, 
in his admirable report of its defense, says : 

"The indentation of the Atlantic Ocean in the Carolina 
coast known as Onslow Bay, and the Cape Fear Eiver, run- 
ring south from Wilmington, form the peninsula known as 
Federal Point, which, during the Civil War, was called 
Confederate Point. Not quite seven miles north of the end 
of this peninsula stood a high sand-hill called the 'Sugar 
Loaf.' Here there was an intrenched camp for the army of 
Wilmington under Gen. Braxton Bragg, the department 
commander, that was hid from the sea by forest and sand- 
hills. From this intrenched camp the river bank, with a 
neighboring ridge of sand-dunes, formed a covered way for 
troops to within a hundred yards of the left salient of Fort 
Fisher. Between the road and the ocean beach was an arm 
of Masonboro Sound, and where it ended, three miles north of 
the fort, were occasional fresh-water swamps, generally 
wooded with scrub growth, and in many cases quite impassa- 
ble. Along the ocean shore was an occasional battery formed 
from a natural sand-hill, behind which Whitworth guns were 
carried from the fort to cover belated blockade runners or to 
protect more unfortunate ones that had been chased ashore. 


"About half a mile north of the fort there was a rise in the 
plain, forming a hill some twenty feet above the tide on the 
river side, and on this was a redoubt commanding the ap- 
proach to the fort by the river road. Thus nature, assisted 
by some slight engineering work, had given a defense to Con- 
federate Point which would have enabled an efficient com- 
mander at the intrenched camp, cooperating with the garri- 
son of Fort Fisher, to render the Point untenable for a largely 
superior force at night, when the covering fire of the Federal 
Navy could not distinguish between friend and foe." 

The plans of Fort Fisher were Colonel Lamb's, and as the 
work progressed they were approved by Generals French, 
Raines, Longstreet, Beauregard, and Whiting. It was styled 
by Federal engineers "the Malakoff of the South." It was 
built solely with the view of resisting the fire of a fleet, and 
it stood uninjured, except as to armament, in two of the fierc- 
est bombardments the world has ever witnessed. The two 
faces to the works were 2,580 yards long. The land face was 
682 yards long, and the sea face 1,898 yards long. 

The Land Face of Fokt Fisher. 

At the land face of Fort Fisher the peninsula was about 
half a mile wide. This face commenced about one hundred 
feet from the river with a half bastion, and extended with a 
heavy curtain to a full bastion on the ocean side, where it 
joined the sea face. The work was built to withstand the 
heaviest artillery fire. There was no moat with scarp and 
counterscarp, so essential for defense against storming par- 
ties, the shifting sands rendering such a construction im- 
possible with the material available. 

The outer slope was twenty feet high and was sodded with 
marsh grass, which grew luxuriantly. The parapet was not 
less than twenty-five feet thick, with an inclination of only 
one foot. The revetment was five feet nine inches high from 
the floor of the gun chambers, and these were some twelve feet 
or more from the interior plane. The guns were all mounted 
in barbette on Columbiad carriages, there being no casemated 


gun in the fort. There were twenty heavy guns on the land 
faces, each gun chamber containing one or two guns, and 
there were heavy traverses exceeding in size any known to 
engineers, to protect from an enfilading fire. They extended 
out some twelve feet or more in height above the parapet, 
running back thirty feet or more. The gun chambers were 
reached from the rear by steps. In each traverse was an 
alternate magazine or bombproof, the latter ventilated by an 
air chamber. The passageways penetrated traverses in the 
interior of the work, forming additional bombproofs for the 
reliefs for the guns. 

As a defense against infantry, there was a system of sub- 
terranean torpedoes extending across the peninsula, five to six 
hundred feet from the land face, and so disconnected that 
the explosion of one would not affect the others; inside the 
torpedoes, about fifty feet from the berm of the work, ex- 
tending from river bank to seashore, was a heavy palisade 
of sharpened logs nine feet high, pierced for musketry, and 
80 laid out as to have an enfilading fire on the centre, where 
there was a redoubt guarding a sally-port, from which two 
Napoleons were run out as occasion required. At the river 
end of the palisade was a deep and muddy slough, across 
which was a bridge, the entrance of the river road into the 
fort; commanding this bridge was a Napoleon gun. There 
were three mortars in the rear of the land face. 

The Sea Face of Fort Fishee. 
The sea face, for one hundred yards from the northwest 
bastion, was of the same massive character as the land face. 
A crescent battery intended for four guns joined this, but 
it was converted into a hospital bombproof. In the rear a 
heavy curtain was thrown up to protect the chamber from 
fragments of shells. From the bombproof a series of bat- 
teries extended for three-quarters of a mile along the sea, 
connected by an infantry curtain. These batteries had heavy 
traverses, but were not more than ten or twelve feet high 
to the top of the parapets, and were built for richochet firing. 


On the line was a bombproof electric battery connected with 
a system of submarine torpedoes. Farther along, where the 
channel ran close to the beach, inside the bar, a mound bat- 
tery sixty feet high was erected, with two heavy guns which 
had a plunging fire on the channel ; this was connected with 
a battery north of it by a light curtain. Following the line 
of the works, it was over one mile from the mound to the 
northeast bastion at the angle of the sea and land faces, and 
upon this line twenty-four heavy guns were mounted. From 
the mound for nearly one mile to the end of the Point, was 
a level sand plain scarcely three feet above high tide, and 
much of it was submerged during gales. At the Point was 
Battery Buchanan, four guns, in the shape of an ellipse com- 
manding the Inlet, its two 11-inch guns covering the ap- 
proach by land. An advanced redoubt with a 24-pounder 
was added after the attack by the forces on the 25th of De- 
cember, 1864. A wharf for large steamers was in close 
proximity to these works. Battery Buchanan was a citadel 
to which an overpowered garrison might retreat and with 
proper transportation be safely carried off at night, and to 
which reinforcements could be sent under the cover of dark- 

The Fokt Fisher Fight. 

General Whiting, in his official report of the taking of 
Fort Fisher on the night of the 15th of January, 1865, after 
an assault of unprecedented fury, both by sea and land, last- 
ing from Friday morning until Sunday night, says : 

"On Thursday night the enemy's fleet was reported off the 
fort. On Friday morning the fleet opened very heavily. On 
Friday and Saturday, during the furious bombardment of 
the fort, the enemy was allowed to land without molestation 
and to throw up a light line of field-works from Battery Eam- 
seur to the river, thus securing his position from molestation 
and making the fate of Fort Fisher, under the circumstances, 
but a question of time. 


"On Sunday, the fire on the fort reached a pitch of fury 
to which no language can do justice. It was concentrated on 
the land face and front. In a short time nearly every gun 
was dismounted or disabled, and the garrison suffered se- 
verely by the fire. At three o'clock the enemy's land force, 
which had been gradually and slowly advancing, formed in 
two columns for assault. The garrison, during the fierce 
bombardment, was not able to stand to the parapets, and 
many of the reinforcements were obliged to be kept a great 
distance from the fort. As the enemy slackened his fire to 
allow the assault to take place, the men hastily manned the 
ramparts and gallantly repulsed the right column of assault. 
A portion of the troops on the left had also repulsed the first 
rush to the left of the work. The greater portion of the garri- 
son being, however, engaged on the right, and not being 
able to man the entire works, the enemy succeeded in making 
a lodgment on the left flank, planting two of his regimental 
flags in the traverses. From this point we could not dislodge 
him, our own traverses protecting him from the fire of our 
most distant guns. From this time it was a succession of 
fighting from traverse to traverse, and from line to line until 
nine o'clock at night, when we were overpowered and all 
resistance ceased. 

"The fall both of the General and the Colonel commanding 
the fort — one about four and the other about four-thirty 
o'clock p. m., had a perceptible effect upon the men, and no 
doubt hastened greatly the result; but we were overpowered, 
and no skill or gallantry could have saved the place after the 
enemy effected a lodgment, except attack in the rear. The 
enemy's loss was very heavy, and so, also, was our own. Of 
the latter, as a prisoner, I have not been able to ascertain. 

"At nine o'clock, p. m., the gallant Major Reilly, who had 
fought the fort after the fall of his superiors, reported the 
enemy in possession of the sally-port. The brave Captain 
Van Benthuysen, of the marines, though himself badly 
wounded, with a squad of his men picked up the General and 
the Colonel and endeavored to make way to Battery Buch- 


anan, followed by Reilly, with the remnant of the forces. 
On reaching there, it was found to be evacuated, by whose 
order and by what authority, I know not. No boats were 
there. The garrison of Fort Fisher had been coolly aban- 
doned to its fate. Thus fell Fort Fisher after three days' 
battle unparalleled in the annals of the war. jSTothing was 
left but to await the approach of the enemy, who took us about 
10 p. m. The fleet surpassed its tremendous efforts in the 
previous attack. The fort had fallen in precisely the manner 
indicated so often by myself, and to which your attention 
has been so frequently called, and in the presence of the ample 
force provided by you to meet the contingency." 

Colonel Lamb, in his report, says he had half a mile of 
land face to defend with 1,900 men. He knew every company 
present and its strength. This number included the killed, 
wounded, and sick. 

To capture Fort Fisher, the enemy lost, by their own 
statement, 1,445 killed, wounded, and missing. Nineteen 
hundred Confederates with 44 guns, contended against 
10,000 men on shore and 600 heavy guns afloat, killing and 
wounding almost as many of the enemy as there were sol- 
diers in the fort, and not surrendering until the last shot 
was expended. 

The garrison consisted of two companies of the Tenth 
North Carolina under Major Reilly; the Thirty-sixth North 
Carolina, Col. William Lamb, ten companies ; four companies 
of the Fortieth North Cai^olina ; Company D of the First 
North Carolina Artillery Battalion; Company C, Third 
North Carolina Artillery Battalion ; Company D, Thirteenth 
North Carolina Artillery Battalion, and the Naval detach- 
ment under Captain Van Benthuysen. 

General Whiting had been assig-ned to no duty by General 
Bragg, although it was his right to command the supporting 
troops. He determined to go to the fort and share its fate. 
The commander. Colonel Lamb, offered to relinquish the 
control, but General Whiting declined to take away the glory 
of the defense from him, but remained with him and fought 


as a volunteer. It is related that during the fight, when one 
hundred immense projectiles were being hurled per minute at 
the fort, General Whiting was seen "standing with folded 
arms, smiling upon a 400-pound shell, as it stood smoking 
and spinning like a billiard ball on the sand, not twenty feet 
away until it burst, and he then moved quietly away." Dur- 
ing the fight General Whiting saw the Federal flags planted 
on the traverses. Calling on the troops to follow him, they 
fought hand to hand with clubbed muskets, and one traverse 
was taken. Just as he was climbing the other, and had his 
hand upon the Federal flag to tear it down, he fell, receiving 
two wounds. Colonel Lamb, a half -hour later, fell with a 
desperate wound through the hip. The troops fought on. 
Lamb, in the hospital, found voice enough, though faint unto 
death, to say: "I will not surrender"; and Whiting, lying 
among the surgeons near by, responded : "Lamb, if you die, 
I will assume command, and I will never surrender." 

After the fort was captured and General Whiting was 
made prisoner, he was taken to Fort Columbus, on Governors 
Island, and there died, March 10, 1865. The fearless de- 
fender of the last stand at Fort Fisher, Maj. James Reilly, in 
after years, remained not far from the scene of his exploits 
until his death, November 5, 1894. 


The four years of blockade running, from 1861 to 1865, 
were so crowded with incidents and adventures of an extraor- 
dinary and startling nature that each day brought a new and 
novel experience. 

I recall my first day under fire, the trembling knees, the 
terrifying scream of the approaching shells, the dread of 
instant death. Again, the notable storm at sea in which our 
ship was buffetted and lashed by the waves until the straining 
steel plates cut the rivets and the fireroom was flooded and 
the engines stopped, while the tempest tossed us helpless upon 
the mountainous waves, and all hope of our lives was gone, 


until we were mercifully cast upon a reef which extends 
about three miles from Bermuda. Again, when our party of 
five persons, endeavoring to reach the Confederacy in a small 
launch after the fall of Fort Fisher, was cast away the second 
day upon Green Turtle Cay, an obscure island of the Baha- 
mas, where we dwelt in a negro's hut for three weeks, and 
then foolishly risked our lives again for two weeks at sea in 
a small boat which landed us in the surf among the man- 
eating sharks off Cape Canaveral, in Florida. 

Another terrifying experience of my life occurred in the 
quiet little town of St. George, Bermuda. It was while our 
ship was waiting in port for the dark of the moon to help us 
into the Confederacy. Our captain, who succeeded our fa- 
vorite Maffitt, was addicted to gambling with others of his 
class afloat in the harbor, and, although, his poker parties 
kept him busy until two or three o'clock in the morning, he 
usually slept on shore, in a room next to that of a gentleman 
from Georgia, in his house near my hotel, where I preferred 
to stay while in port. One night at two o'clock I was awak- 
ened by a knock at my door, at which, to my amazement, 
stood our captain, gi-eatly excited, who asked me to accom- 
pany him to 0— 's house, "for," said he, "O— has suddenly 
gone crazy." I did not stop to think why the Captain had 
asked me, a mere stripling of eighteen years of age, to tackle 
a crazy man in the dead of the night. I went quickly. I re- 
member the solemn stillness of the night, not a light burning, 
not even a sound of footsteps upon the quiet street, no 
policeman in sight (the force consisted of two constables), 
and as we walked rapidly towards our destination, the Cap- 
tain told me that on reaching the house he found he had for- 
gotten his latch-key ; that after knocking loudly for the porter, 
who, it appeared, was absent, he heard some one coming down 
the stairs, and a moment afterwards — appeared in his 
night clothes with a lighted candle and a pistol, which he 
snapped in the Captain's face and denounced him for a 
robber. The Captain, who was a big strong man, said that 
he had disarmed O — and with great difficulty got him back 


to his room. And then, instead of calling a doctor, he ran 
for me — for what reason, I have never fathomed. 

I savt^ at once that O — was crazy. He glared at me 
like a wild beast and jumped from his bed to attack me, but 
the Captain threw him back, and after getting him quiet, for 
he was raving mad, asked me to remain while he went a half 
mile away for a doctor. I have never understood to this day 
why / didn't go for the doctor and leave the Captain to watch ; 
but, before this reasonable proposition entered my excited 
mind, I found myself alone in a big house with a maniac. 
I remember the Captain's last words, ''Don't let him get to 
his dressing table, as I put his pistol in that drawer." The 
Captain's footsteps had scarcely died away in the distance 
upon the cobblestones when O — jumped at me, and in 
sheer desperation I met him and knocked him over the bed 
and planted my trembling knees upon his chest. I don't 
know how long I struggled with the man — it seemed like 
eternity — but at last I heard footsteps in the distance and 
then saw two persons climbing the stairs. I didn't tarry 
any longer than the utterance of a few pointed remarks to the 
Captain, whose company was subsequently as distasteful to 
me as that of his crazy friend. 

Strangely enough, as I was writing these reminiscences of 
long ago, a benevolent old gentleman presented himself at 
my office door and said, "I want to see my old friend, Mr. 
Sprunt, who was purser of my ship fifty years ago, and 
whom I have not seen since then." It was gratifying to 
see again in the flesh my brother officer, Andrew J. Forrest^ 
of Baltimore, who was first assistant engineer with us when 
Fort Fisher was captured and our occupation as blockade 
runners terminated. Among many other incidents which 
our meeting brought to mind was a ludicrous scene recalled 
by my friend. "Do you remember," said Andy, "how annoy- 
ing it was to the Captain when his belated slumbers, after 
a night at poker, were disturbed in the early morning by 
the usual holy-stoning and washing-down-decks which Chief 
Officer Carrow was so particular about ? Do you recall the 


occasion when, having finished breakfast, we were strolling 
about the quarter-deck, and a rooster got out of the coop near 
the galley, and, perching himself upon the bridge-deck near 
the Captain's stateroom, crowed and crowed, until with a 
savage oath the skipper burst out of the door in his pajamas 
with a big Colt's revolver and chased that rooster all over 
the ship in a rage that fairly choked us with laughter ?" 

My friend tells me that we two are the only survivors of 
the fifty-two ofiicers and men upon the muster roll of the old 
ship, which was subsequently used as a transport in the South 
American wars. 

The stirring scenes recalled in these reminiscences oc- 
curred a half century ago. A mere handful of those who par- 
ticipated in blockade running still survive, and their hoary 
heads and feeble knees attest the measure of their days. 
One, whose moral excellence commands universal respect, still 
heeds the call of the sea, and none of his profession is more 
skillful in piloting the big steamers with their valuable car- 
goes through the devious Cape Fear channel to their berths 
in the city's harbor. Fifty years ago he and I were cap- 
tured, man and boy together, in the same ship, under the 
Confederate flag ; and we suffered together the privations, dis- 
comforts, and trials of prisoners of war. Upon the return 
of peace our vocations cemented a friendship which has ex- 
tended unbroken to the present time. Some years ago he was 
called by the Master, who once walked upon the sea, to the 
higher service of a minister of the Gospel, in which he has 
been signally blessed. 

The writer, for twenty-six years a member of the Board 
of Commissioners of Navigation and Pilotage, having ample 
means of observation at home and abroad, believes that our 
pilots would compare most favorably with any organization 
of the kind elsewhere in all the essential qualifications of 
this noble calling. 

The story of their wonderful skill and bravery in the time 
of the Federal blockade has never been written, because the 


survivors were modest men, and because time obliterated 
from their memories many incidents of that extraordinary 
epoch in their history. 

Amidst almost impenetrable darkness, without lightship 
or beacon, the narrow and closely watched inlet was felt for 
with a deep-sea lead as a blind man feels his way along a 
familiar path, and even when the enemy's fire was raking the 
wheel-house, the faithful pilot, with steady hand and iron 
nerve, safely steered the little fugitive of the sea to her 
desired haven. It might be said of him as it was told of 
the Nantucket skipper, that he could get his bearings on the 
darkest night by a taste of the lead. 

We recall the names of some of the noted blockade runners 
and their pilots, so well known in Smithville about fifty 
years ago: Columbia, afterwards called the Lady Davis, 
C. C. Morse; Giraffe, afterwards known as the R. E. Lee, 
Archibald Guthrie; Fannie, Henry Howard; Hansa, J. N. 
Burruss ; City of Petersburg, Joseph Bensel ; Old Dominion, 
Richard Dosher ; Alice, Joseph Springs ; Margaret and Jessie, 
Charles W. Craig; Hebe, George W. Burruss; Advance, C, 
C. Morse; Pet, T. W. Craig; Atalanta, Thos. M. Thompson; 
Eugenia, T. W. ISTewton; Ella and Annie, J. M. Adkins; 
Banshee, Thomas Burruss; Venus, R. Sellers; Don, Wil- 
liam St. George; Lynx, J. W. Craig; Let Her Be, J. T. 
Burruss ; Little Hattie, R. S. Grissom ; Lilian, Thomas Gris- 
som ; North Heath, Julius Dosher ; Let Her Rip, E. T. Bur- 
russ; Beauregard, J. W. Potter; Owl, T. B. Garrason; Agnes 
Fry, Thomas Dyer; Kate, C. C. Morse; Siren, John Hill; 
Calypso, C. G. Smith; Ella, John Savage; Condor, Thomas 
Brinkman; Coquette, E. T. Daniels; Mary Celeste, J. W. 
Anderson ; Susan Bierne, Richard Dosher. 

Many other steamers might be named, among them the 
Britannic, Emma, Dee, Antonica, Victory, Granite City, 
Stonewall Jackson, Flora, Havelock, Hero, Eagle, Duoro, 
Thistle, Scotia, Gertrude, Charleston, Colonel Lamb, Dolphin 
and Dream, the names of whose pilots may or may not be 


among those already recalled. These are noted here because 
there is no other record of their exploits extant. 

Some of the steamers which were run ashore by the block- 
aders may still be seen: The Ella on Bald Head, the 
Spunky and the Georgianna McCall on Caswell Beach, the 
Hebe and the Dee between Wrightsville and Masonboro. The 
Beauregard and the Venus lie stranded on Carolina Beach, 
the Modern Greece near E'ew Inlet, the Antonica on Frying 
Pan Shoals. Two others lie near Lockwood's Folly bar ; and 
others, whose names are forgotten, lie half buried in sands, 
where they may remain for centuries to come. 

James W. Ceaig^ a Veteraist Pilot. 

He is now the Keverend James William Craig, Methodist 
preacher, but I like to think of him as Jim Billy, the Cape 
Fear pilot of war times, on the bridge of the swift Confed- 
erate blockade runner Lynx, commanded by the intrepid 
Captain Reed, as she races through the blackness of night on 
her course west nor'west, straight and true for the Federal 
fleet off ISTew Inlet, in utter silence, the salt spray of the sea 
smiting the faces of the watchers as they gaze ahead for the 
first sign of imminent danger. 

Soon there is added to the incessant noise of wind and 
waves the ominous roar of the breakers, as the surf com- 
plains to the shore, and the deep sea lead gives warning of 
shoaling water. "Half-speed" is muttered through the 
speaking tube ; a hurried parley ; a recognized land fall — for 
Reed is a fine navigator, and "Are you ready to take her, 
pilot?" "Ready, sir," comes from Jim Billy in the dark- 
ness. Then the whispered orders through the tube, "Slow 
down," as there looms ahead the first of the dread monsters 
of destruction; "Starboard," "Steady." And the little ship 
glides past like a phantom, unseen as yet. Then "Port," 
"Port," "Hard a'port," in quick succession, as she almost 
touches the second cruiser. She is now in the thick of the 
blockading squadron ; and suddenly, out of the darkness, close 


aboard, comes the hoarse hail, "Heave to, or I'll sink you," 
followed bj a blinding glare of rockets and the roar of heavy 
guns. The devoted little Confederate is now naked to her 
enemies as the glare of rockets and drummond lights from 
many men-of-war illuminate the chase. Under a pitiless hail 
of shot and shell from every quarter she bounds forward full 
speed ahead, every joint and rivet straining, while Jim Billy 
dodges her in and out through a maze of smoke and flame and 
bursting shells. The range of Fort Fisher's guns is yet a 
mile away — will she make it ? Onward speeds the little ship, 
for neither Reed nor Jim Billy has a thought of surrender. 
A shell explodes above them, smashing the wheelhouse; 
another shell tears away the starboard paddle-box; and as 
she flies, like lightning, past the nearest cruiser, a sullen roar 
from Colonel Lamb's artillery warns her pursuers that they 
have reached their limitations ; and in a few minutes the gal- 
lant little ship crosses the bar and anchors under the Con- 
federate guns. The Captain and his trusty pilot shake hands 
and go below, "to take the oath," as Eeed described it — for 
the strain must be relaxed by sleep or stimulation. "A close 
shave, Jim," was all the Captain said. "It was, sir, for 
a fact," was the equally laconic answer. 

My shipmate, Jim Billy, is gTowing old, and so am I. 
Our lives have been united all these years in a bond which 
death only can divide ; and as we talk, as we often do, about 
old times and those who took part with us in the stress of 
war, all of whom have gone out upon the boundless tide, we 
are thankful that we are in the convoy of Him who walked 
upon the sea, and that we will be guided to our desired haven 
by His good hand upon us. Some days ago I drew out of 
Jim Billy the following narrative, which I have set down 
as nearly as may be in his own words, and I trust it may 
serve to interest and instruct some of the readers who do not 
often hear a true sailor's yarn : 

"I was born in May, 1840, and piloted my first vessel into 
the Cape Fear Eiver when I was seventeen years of age. At 
that time Mr. P. W. Fanning, of Wilmington, was chairman 


of the Board of Commissioners of ISTavigation and Pilotage, 
and the present custom of issuing branches, or licenses, was 
not in vogue. 

"I acted under the protection of my father, who was a full 
branch pilot; in other words, he was permitted to carry in 
vessels of any depth suitable for the water then available. I 
was an apprentice with him. 

"When the war broke out I was twenty-one years of age 
and, in view of certain circumstances favorable to my repu- 
tation, I was given by the Board of Commissioners of 
N'avigation and Pilotage a license for twelve feet, the laws 
having been changed a year or two before the war in respect 
to the method of issuing licenses. 

"My father, James JST. Craig, lived a short distance from 
Fort Pisher on the river side at a place called Craig's Land- 
ing, and his house and landing were both used later by the 
commander of Fort Fisher, Col. William Lamb, who was so 
intimately engaged with my father that he gave him general 
charge of the duty of setting lights for the benefit of blockade 
runners, under certain restrictions which had been provided. 
I was therefore engaged for nearly two years after the out- 
break of the war in assisting my father, and became more 
familiar with the channel and the approaches of the channel 
than many other pilots who had not the opportunity of sound- 
ing, as we had frequently, under government instructions. 

"The first proposal made to me to take a ship through the 
blockade was by Capt. E. C. Reed, commander of the cele- 
brated cruiser Sumter. This vessel had been dismantled of 
her guns on account of her slow speed and general unfitness 
for a cruiser, after her destruction of many vessels of the 
enemy, and she was sent into Wilmington with a cargo of 
war stores, conspicuous among which were two enormous 
Blakely guns, which were subsequently used in the defense of 

"After the discharge of the cargo at Wilmington the 
Sumter was loaded with cotton, and Captain Reed brought 


her down to Old Brunswick landing and anchored, before 
he made arrangements for the engagement of a pilot to take 
him out. 

"In coming into the Cape Fear Captain Reed had, through 
a successful ruse, passed through the blockading fleet by 
hoisting the U. S. ensign and pretending to be one of the 
fleet. The blockaders did not discover his true character 
until he was under the guns of Fort Fisher, and consequently 
they were very eager to capture him on his voyage outward. 

"At that time of the tide it was impossible to take over the 
Eip Shoal or across either of the bars a ship drawing more 
than eleven feet. The Sumter drew eleven feet of water and 
grounded repeatedly in attempting to go out. Capt. Reed 
offered me $1,000 in gold if I would take the ship out suc- 
cessfully and reach Bermuda, where he would discharge me 
and proceed to England with his cargo. 

"I made several ineffectual attempts to get the Sumter 
outside, but, owing to the lack of water and the vigilance of 
the blockading fleet, we were baffled repeatedly. At last I 
took her out successfully over the 'New Inlet bar, the fleet in 
the meantime having concentrated at the Western bar, expect- 
ing to capture her there, and Captain Reed subsequently told 
me that he proceeded to Bermuda and to England without 
sighting a single hostile vessel during the whole voyage. 

"A short time after that I piloted the Steamship Oi^ion in 
over New Inlet successfully, that vessel having arrived off 
the bar without a pilot and, very luckily for the ship as well 
as for me, hailed me while I was setting some lights for 
another vessel, the Cornubia, ready to go out in charge of 
pilot C. C. Morse. 

"Just as Morse was passing us, he called out, 'Don't take 
your lights in too soon, because if we run afoul of a blockader 
outside, he may run us in again, and we want the benefit 
of the lights.' 

"Sure enough, a few minutes after the Coi-nuhia had 
faded from our sight beyond the bar, we were surprised by the 


sudden looming up of another large steamer, whicli at first 
we supposed was a blockader chasing the Cornubia. 

"We were still more surprised, and really frightened, when 
they lowered a boat and the boat pulled close up to us in 
the semi-darkness and demanded to know who we were, pilot 
Thomas Newton being with me. They asked if we were 
pilots, which we admitted was the case. The voice, which 
proved to be that of the chief officer of the blockade runner 
Orion, a very fine ship, then replied, "We have been trying to 
run into Charleston, and failed to do so. We are groping 
around for the N'ew Inlet bar. Will you take us in ?" We at 
once agreed and proceeded to the ship and brought her in 
over the bar and anchored her under the guns of Fort Fisher 
in safety. 

"Strangely enough, the captain of the Orion, who claimed 
to be a Baltimorean, recognized me, and reminded me that 
I had taken him over the bar before the war, when he com- 
manded a schooner from Baltimore. 

"Some months afterwards a very fine blockade runner 
called the Don, under command of Captain Roberts (whose 
real name was Hobart, a son of the Earl of Buckingham- 
shire, and a post captain in the British Navy, who had ob- 
tained leave of absence in order to try his skill at blockade 
running), was brought successfully to Wilmington by pilot 
St. George, who was there taken sick, and I was requested 
to assume his place. 

"On my return to Wilmington in the Don, I relinquished 
this vessel to her former pilot, St. George, and made a con- 
tract with the agent in Wilmington of a firm which owned a 
number of blockade runners — a notable one being the Hansa 
— to pilot any vessels which he might designate and be sub- 
ject to his orders at any moment, the term of engagement 
being three months. 

"Immediately afterwards, I was ordered to proceed to 
Nassau in the blockade runner Fanny (formerly the Orion), 
and report to Captain Watters, of the blockade runner Annie, 
for duty on that ship. 


"I remember that we left in the Fanny on Saturday night 
and arrived in Nassau before daylight on Tuesday morning, 
where I found the Annie fully loaded and ready for sea and 
waiting for me. We accordingly left about 4 o'clock that af- 
ternoon and arrived without incident inside the Cape Fear 
bar on the Friday night following. 

"I made a second voyage through the blockade in the Annie, 
passing within a cable length of two of the Federal fleet that 
failed to observe us. 

"We again loaded the Annie in Nassau and cleared for 
Wilmington, but fell in with a hurricane shortly afterwards, 
and were obliged to heave to for about forty hours, and so 
lost our reckoning ; failing to get observations for three days, 
we waited until the gale subsided, and then anchored the ship 
in smooth water, by a kedge, until the Captain succeeded 
in getting an observation of the North Star, by which he 
worked out his position. We then shaped our course straight 
for the blockade fleet off Fort Fisher. 

"At that time, and subsequently, it was the custom for 
the flag ship of the blockading squadron to carry a large 
light, and, this being the only one visible, often served the 
purpose of guiding the blockade runners until they could get 
the bearings of the Mound Light. 

"On this particular night of May 6, 1864, the Confeder- 
ate iron-clad ram Ealeigh, commanded by Lieut. J. Pem- 
broke Jones, and accompanied by two small wooden gimboats 
named the Yadkin and the Equator, had come out from the 
river and attacked the blockading squadron. We were, of 
course, unaware of the circumstances and I came very near 
running afoul of the Raleigh outside of the bar, but, suppos- 
ing him to be one of the blockaders, got out of his way as 
quickly as possible. 

"This Confederate flotilla returned to the river next day, 
and the Raleigh unfortunately grounded on the Rip and 
broke her back, and remained for the rest of the war a most 
dangerous obstruction to vessels passing that shoal. 


"My term of three montlis' service having expired, I was 
proceeding in my skiff from Craig's Landing to Wilmington 
when I was overtaken by a very svdft blockade runner, with 
two rakish funnels, a perfect model of its kind, called the 
Lynx, and, having been given a tow line, climbed aboard and 
found, to my gToat surprise and delight, that the ship was 
commanded by my old friend. Captain Eeed, who imme- 
diately requested that I would arrange to go with him, as his 
engagement of a pilot was only for the voyage inward. 

"To this I consented, on condition that General Whiting 
would approve it, and I received a few days afterwards a 
telegram to go on board the Lynx at Fort Fisher. I was in 
a hurricane on this ship, in which she fared badly, her paddle- 
boxes, sponsons, and bridge-deck having been partly washed 
away; but we at last limped into Bermuda, and, after re- 
pairing damages, proceeded again to Wilmington. 

"The longest chase of which I was a witness during the 
war occurred while I was on the Lynx, which was chased for 
fifteen hours by that very fast cruiser, Fort Jachson. The 
Fort Jackson's log and official report subsequently showed 
that she was making sixteen knots an hour, which at that time 
was considered phenomenal speed (the average blockade run- 
ner seldom exceeding fourteen knots an hour), and on this 
occasion I remember that the safety valves of the Lynx were 
weighted down by the iron tops of the coal bunkers, which 
of course imperiled the life of every one on board, but in- 
creased the speed of the Lynx to more than sixteen knots an 
hour and enabled her ultimately to escape. 

"After making two round passages in the Lynx and run- 
ning the blockade four times in this vessel, several times under 
fire, I joined at Wilmington the Confederate steamer Lilian, 
under the following peculiar circumstances : 

"Quite a number of the Wilmington pilots had been cap- 
tured by the enemy, and the force available for ships waiting 
in Bermuda and ISTassau, belonging to the Confederate Gov- 
ernment, was in consequence greatly reduced. The reg-ular 


pilot of the Lilian was Thomas Grissom, and I was one of 
four extra pilots (the three others being Joseph Thompson, 
James Bell, and Charles Craig), who were ordered by General 
^Yhiting to proceed to Bermuda and take charge of certain 
ships to be designated by Maj. Norman S. Walker, the Con- 
federate agent at that port. 

"Trouble began before we got outside. An armed barge 
from the fleet had come close inside the Western bar and lay 
in our track in the channel, and, immediately upon our ap- 
proach, sent up a rocket and fired a gun, which was instantly 
answered by the whole fleet outside, and I remember that we 
crossed the bar in a bright flash of drummond lights and 
rockets which made the night as bright as day. Every one of 
the blockaders was firing at or over us as we headed out to 
sea, and when next morning dawned, which was Sunday, we 
had just succeeded in dropping the last of the cruisers, which 
had chased us all night. 

"We were congratulating ourselves after breakfast that 
morning that we would have a clear sea towards Bermuda — 
and by the way, the sea was as smooth as glass — ^when the 
lookout in the crow's nest reported a vessel of war ahead, 
shortly afterwards another on the starboard bow, and a little 
later a third on our port bow, and in a few minutes a fourth 
one on our beam. We had unfortunately run into the second 
line of blockaders, called the Gulf Squadron, and it was not 
more than two hours before they were all in range and pelting 
us with bomb shells. 

"The chase lasted until half past one in the afternoon, 
when a shell from the cruiser on our starlx)ard beam, called 
the Gettysburg, formerly the blockade runner Margaret and 
Jessie, struck us below the water line, making a large hole 
through which the water rushed like a mill-stream. 

"All our efforts to stop the leak with blankets were unavail- 
ing. We had previously thrown over our deck load of cotton, 
but it was impossible to reach the hole from the inside as the 
hold was jam full of cotton; and in a short time the vessel 


began to steer badly and gradually sank almost to the level 
of the deck. Finding further efforts to escape utterly fruit- 
less, the captain stopped the ship and surrendered to the 
boats which immediately surrounded us. 

"I remember that when the ship was hove to and the Fed- 
eral officers came on board, our sullen and dejected com- 
mander was standing on the starboard paddle-box, with his 
arms folded and his back turned to the approaching Federals, 
when one of them, with a drawn sword, approached and asked 
if he was in command of the ship. Captain Martin responded 
with an oath: ''I was in command, but I suppose you are 
Captain now." 

"Although every effort had been made to escape, those of 
us who knew Captain Maffitt, the former commander of the 
Lilian, regretted very much his absence on this occasion, as 
he would most likely have been more fortunate in getting 

"Knowing how eager the Federals were to identify the 
pilot of the ship, they being in blissful ignorance that there 
were no fewer than five Wilmington pilots on board, we 
all agreed to personate firemen or members of the crew, and 
succeeded in passing ourselves as such. Subsequently all 
of us escaped except the ship's pilot, who was detained at 
Point Lookout until the end of the war. 

"Our ship's company numbered forty-eight men, and now, 
after a lapse of forty-eight years, we two, James Sprunt, 
purser, and J. W. Craig, pilot, are the only survivors of 
them all.^ 

"After our escape from prison, we made our way to Hali- 
fax, Nova Scotia, through the medium of some gold coins, 
which I fortunately kept next to my body in a waist band 
and which paid the passage of four of my companions, in- 
cluding Mr. Sprunt. I joined the steamer Bat at Halifax, 
and proceeded as pilot of her to Wilmington. When off the 
bar, and in the midst of the blockading fleet, which was firing 
heavily upon us, the Captain lost his nerve, and, notwith- 

iMr. Craig has since died. 


standing my expostulations, persisted in stopping the Bat. 
The cause of the Captain's excitement was due to this re- 
markable incident : One of our sailors was a survivor of the 
desperate battle between the Alabama and the Kearsarge off 
Cherbourg some months before, serving on the Alabama, but, 
instead of proving to be, as might be expected, a very brave 
man, under the fire of the blockading fleet he became terrified 
and hid himself as far forward under the turtleback in the 
eyes of our ship as he could squeeze himself. During the 
firing of the fleet a shot struck the exact spot where this poor 
fellow was hiding and cut off his leg, causing him to utter 
such shrieks as to demoralize the Captain, who ignobly 
stopped and anchored his ship in the midst of the enemy, 
when he might just as well have gone on, with less risk of 
destruction. The ship that boarded us that night was the 
U. S. steamer Montgomery. 

"For the second time I was made a prisoner of war and un- 
der the following circumstances, which I have never men- 
tioned but once. 

"Before I became engaged in the blockade running service, 
I was acting as mate on the Confederate steamer Flora Mac- 
donald, a transport on the Cape Fear River, and when the 
Confederate privateer Retribution sent into Wilmington a 
prize schooner, which she had captured at sea, in charge of 
one of the Retributions officers named Jordan, who had 
shipped with Capt. Joseph Price in Wilmington, I assisted 
in towing that vessel from the bar to Wilmington, and of 
course saw much of Jordan. 

"When I was captured by the Montgomery, I was taken to 
Portsmouth l^avy Yard, where we were boarded by a Federal 
officer in a captain's uniform, who proved to be none other 
than my quondam Confederate friend Jordan, who had gone 
over to the enemy, and who immediately recognized me and 
informed against me. 

"I was then put in irons and sent on board the U. S. man- 
of-war Sabine, where I was most kindly treated by its com- 
mander, Captain Loring, and while a prisoner on his ship I 


was repeatedly approached bj the Federal officers, who offered 
to pay any sum I would name if I would join their fleet off 
Fort Fisher and take part as a pilot in their attack against my 
home. I told them that the United States Government did 
not have enough money to induce me to accept such a prop- 
osition, and I accordingly remained a prisoner at Point 
Lookout until after the war was over. 

"I may add that while I was a prisoner on the Sahine, two 
of the Cape Fear pilots, C. C. Morse and John Savage, were 
brought on board as prisoners, under suspicion of being pilots, 
and, although they were intimate friends of mine, I took 
particular pains to treat them as total strangers and paid no 
attention to them, lest it might get them into further trouble. 
They were much relieved when they discovered my purpose. 
Savage was subsequently released, but Morse, having been 
identified later by some other means, was made a prisoner 
with me until the end of the war. 

"The monotony of prison life affords so few incidents that 
my experience is hardly worth recalling, and yet I remember 
some diversions, which gave us much merriment at the time. 

"While our friends of the Lilian were confined for several 
weeks in a casemate of Fort Macon, that garrison consisted of 
what the Yankees called the First Regiment of N'orth Caro- 
lina Volunteers. These men were known to us, however, as 
'Buffaloes,' and they were a mean lot, as can be imagined 
from their having turned against their native State in time 
of gTeat stress of war. Every day an officer and guard took 
us outside our gloomy casemate and permitted us to stretch 
our legs along the beach, while we gazed with longing eyes 
across the intervening sound to Dixie's Land. The marsh 
grass was full of sand fiddlers, which scuttled away at our 
approach. I pretended to be surprised and asked the guard 
what these things were, saying that they would be called 
lobsters in my country if they were much larger. The old 
renegade looked at me with a most contemptuous expression 
and replied : 'You know what they are ; you've got millions 
of them at Smithville, whar you come from.' 


"Another daily experience was the persistent, though un- 
successful, effort of the officer of the day to tease out of our 
young purser, James Sprunt, whom he thought an easy mark 
on account of his youth (17 years), betrayal of our pilot, 
little dreaming that we were five Wilmington pilots. 

"A warm attachment began in that prison life between 
Mr. Sprunt and myself, which has been true and steadfast 
through all these intervening years. We little thought then 
that our lives would be so long united in the bonds of Chris- 
tian fellowship and commercial enterprise. 

"During my subsequent confinement on the Sabine as a 
prisoner of war, a large number of blockade runners who had 
been captured at sea were brought to that school-ship for 
confinement, and Captain Loring tried in every way to sur- 
prise those suspected of being pilots into an admission of the 
fact. One fine day, while the prisoners were lying on the 
deck, he, looking like an old sea dog, bluff and hearty, paced 
up and dowQ among them, and suddenly, turning on his heel, 
he called out: 'All you North Carolinians stand up quick!' 
I cast my eyes over a number of our pilots, fearing they 
would be taken by this surprise and betray themselves, but 
not a man stirred, and old Loring, who was really a good 
fellow and kind to us, went on his way. 

"I hope it may not be amiss, in the conclusion of these 
reminiscences, to allude to the fact that, although I have 
been all these years engaged as a Cape Fear pilot, in the 
duties of my vocation, it has pleased God to call me also to 
the higher duty of preaching His gospel, as a Methodist 
minister, and to make me the humble instrument, in His 
hands, of guiding some of my fellow men to their eternal 
rest, as I have guided the ships to their haven. 

"There was a moral lesson, to those who heeded, in the 
devious path of our hunted fugitives of the sea in war time, 
for the Christian warfare is a running fight through many 
adversaries of the soul, and if we will but follow the lead of 
the Great Pilot, He will bring us safe at last to 'an anchor 
within the vale, whither our forerunner is already entered.' 


"There is a beautiful figure in this Scripture, which few 
landsmen recognize. The approach by sailing vessels in 
the olden time to the inlets of the Mediterranean Sea was 
often baffled bj adverse winds, or calms ; a little boat was then 
lowered, which carried into the harbor a kedge anchor that 
was dropped overboard. To this small anchor was attached 
a line by which the vessel was warped by the windlass into 
the haven. The man who carried the anchor in was the fore- 
runner, and, in a figure. He is Christ, the Captain of our 
Salvation; the line is the line of faith, and the man at the 
windlass is a human soul who trusts in God." 

Capt. Daniel W. Lee. 

A few weeks ago I spent a pleasant day with Capt. 
Daniel W. Lee, in Virginia, the sailor nephew of the illus- 
trious leader of the Lost Cause, who served as an ofiicer on 
board the C. S. cruiser Chickamauga, which, under the com- 
mand of Capt. John Wilkinson, spread consternation up 
and down the JSTorthern coast during the last ninety days of 
the war. 

Across the historic Eappahannock lay the famous town of 
Fredericksburg, the home of Washington and of Mercer, the 
Cradle of American Independence, so often swept by fire 
and sword in the scourge of war. Beyond this, like two great 
armies, were the serried ranks of 40,000 Confederate and 
Federal dead, waiting for the trumpet call ; and farther still, 
the ancient house of Brompton on Marye's Heights, around 
which the iron hail and storm of battle swept, leaving many 
thousand bullet-scars which time has not effaced. 

From these familiar scenes which fill the contemplative 
mind with sad emotions. Captain Lee turned with kindling 
eyes to the recital of his daring runs through the Cape Fear 
blockade, and courteously inquired for the welfare of his 
old shipmates at Wilmington and Southport, nearly all of 
whom have gone out on their last voyage. With characteris- 
tic modesty he declined to write a narrative of his war-time 
experience; but Captain Wilkinson's narration of cruises in 


which Captain Lee was engaged as a subordinate will serve 
to connect the sea life of this distinguished gentlemen with 
a unique epoch in Cape Fear history. 

Pilot Bueeiss. 

A familiar face and figure in the strenuous days of 1861 
to 1866 was Pilot l^ed Burriss, of Smithville. He was 
reckoned one of the coolest and bravest of men under fire and 
also a pilot of great ability. I recall a characteristic story of 
Burriss. When Captain Reed of the Sumter roused him 
from a deep sleep with the exclamation, "!N"ed, we are sur- 
rounded by the Yankees and cannot escape ; we must either 
be sunk or run ashore," Burriss rubbed his eyes and remarked 
in a matter of fact tone, "Well, I guess I'd better put on a 
clean shirt." For years after the war he held a steady en- 
gagement as pilot on the Clyde steamers, and when he gave 
it up his employers parted with him regretfully, because they 
regarded him as a most trustworthy and capable man. Mr. 
Burriss always inspired his shipmates with confidence. His 
quiet, kindly disposition and his well known skill made many 
^i^ie^^^s.i Captain Steele. 

I recall an instance of extraordinary nerve on the part of 
Captain Steele, of the blockade runner Banshee, who found 
himself at daylight close alongside a Federal cruiser. The 
captain of the warship Nyplion simply had the Banshee in 
the hollow of his hand, and desiring to capture this valuable 
prize without the risk of sinking her aiid thereby losing the 
prize money, he commanded Steele to heave to immediately, 
or he would sink him. Steele, standing on the paddle-box, 
presented a ludicrous spectacle as he coolly shouted back 
that he didn't have time to stop, because he was in a hurry. 
Thereupon issued a cross fire of vituperation, while Steele's 
engineers were piling on steam in a desperate effort to escape. 
The Federal commander, still unwilling to destroy his prize 
and lose its value, continued to threaten, until he saw the 
Banshee gradually dravdng away from him, when he shot 

iPilot Burriss has since died. 



away one of her masts and raked the little ship from stem to 
stern with grape shot, while Steele's men were lying flat on 
the deck for shelter. The quartermaster abandoned the 
wheel and the little ship ran into the breakers, but was 
brought safely through by her intrepid pilot, Tom Burriss, 
a brother of N"ed Burriss. 

John William Anderson. 

John William Anderson was a Smithville mariner, en- 
gaged, as all of them were, in running the blockade. His 
name will live in the hearts and minds of the lower Cape 
Fear people, because his last voyage splendidly illustrated 
the heroism and fidelity to duty of a Cape Fear pilot. Al- 
though I remember the incident in all its details, I prefer to 
relate it in the words of the late Alfred Moore Waddell, the 
gifted writer of Wilmington, whose spirit has also taken its 
"flight to the undiscovered country" : 

"Among these blockade runners in 1863 was a steamer 
called the Mary Celeste. Her pilot was John William An- 
derson, of Smithville, and he, like all the best pilots, was as 
familiar with the channels over the bars, both at I^ew Inlet 
(where Fort Fisher stood, and which is now closed) and at 
the mouth of the river, as a farmer is with the roads over his 
land. One night, in the month of August, 1863, Anderson 
took the Mary Celeste out over New Inlet bar, and, gliding 
past the blockading fleet, which was always watching for 
such valuable prizes, escaped under cover of the darkness 
and reached Nassau in safety. He only escaped one danger 
to run into another more fearful. Yellow fever was raging 
there, and the victims of that scourge were most numerous 
among the sailors and other non-residents. Anderson was 
stricken with the fever just before the Mary Celeste weighed 
anchor for her return voyage, and by the time she neared 
the North Carolina coast it was evident he must die. 

"An entrance through the blockading fleet could, of course, 
only be made between sunset and sunrise, and, as Anderson 
was the only Cape Fear pilot on board, great anxiety pre- 


vailed as to the safety of the ship. At last the critical hour 
arrived, when, in the uncertain light of the dawn, they found 
that they had run near a blockader and had been seen by her. 
The blockader opened fire on the Mar^j Celeste and pursued 
her. Like a scared greyhound she made straight for New 
Inlet bar, then visible several miles away, and after her 
steamed the blockader, from whose bow gun every few 
minutes would leap a flame followed by a shell which would 
pass over or through her rigging and burst in the air, or, 
striking the sea, would flash a great column of spray towards 
the sky. By this time poor Anderson was dying in his berth, 
and the officers of the ship began to realize the terrible situa- 
tion in which they found themselves, with the enemy in pur- 
suit and before them a bar over which it was almost certain 
destruction for any one aboard except Anderson to attempt 
to steer the Mary Celeste. Anderson heard the firing and 
knew what it meant before they told him. He knew, too, 
that he was dying and had no further interest in this world's 
affairs, but the sense of duty asserted itself even in the 
presence of death. 

"He was too weak to go up, but he demanded to be taken 
on deck and carried to the man at the wheel. Two strong 
sailors lifted him and carried him up to the wheelhouse. 
They stood him on his feet and supported him on either side. 
His face was as yellow as gold, and his eyes shone like stars. 
He fixed his unearthly gaze upon the long line of breakers 
ahead, then upon the dim line of pines that stood higher 
than the surrounding forest, then at the compass for a mo- 
ment, and then said calmly, 'Hard starboard !' Quickly re- 
volved the wheel under the hands of the helmsman ; slowly 
veered the stem of the rushing steamer, and a shell hurtled 
over the pilot-house and went singing toward the beach. 

"Anderson kept his gaze fixed on the breakers, and in the 
same calm tone said, 'Steady.' On ploughed the steamer 
straight for her goal, while the group of men in the pilot-house 
stood in profound silence, but fairly quivering with sup- 
pressed excitement. The blockader, finally seeing that it was 


impossible to overtake her and not desiring to come within 
range of the big guns of Fort Fisher, abandoned the chase 
with a farewell shot, and the Mary Celeste, now nearly on the 
bar, slacked her pace a little, and nothing but the swash of the 
sea and the trembling thud of the ship under the force of the 
engine could be heard. The dying pilot, though failing fast, 
continued in the same calm tone to give his directions. They 
were now crossing the bar, but had passed the most dangerous 
point, when he bent his head as if to cough, and the horri- 
fied men saw the last fatal symptom which immediately pre- 
cedes dissolution — black vomit — and knew that the end was 
very near. He knew it, too, but gave no sign of fear and 
continued at his post. His earthly home was now visible to 
his natural eye — ^he was almost there where loved ones 
awaited his coming — but nearer still to his spiritual vision 
was the 'house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.' 
At last the bar was safely crossed, smooth water was reached, 
the engine slowed down, the Mary Celeste glided silently 
into the harbor, stopped her headway gradually, lay still, 
loosed her anchor chains, dropped her anchor, and as the last 
loud rattle of her cable ceased, the soul of John William 
Anderson took its flight to the undiscovered country." 

The Chase.^ 

[After Homeward Bound.] 

Freed from the lingering chase, in devious ways 

Upon the swelling tides 

Swiftly the Lilian glides 
Through hostile shells and eager foemen past; 
The lynx-eyed pilot gazing through the haze, 
And engines straining, "far hope dawns at last." 

Now falls in billows deep the welcome night 

Upon white sands below; 

While signal lamps aglow 
Seek out Fort Fisher's distant answering gleams. 
The blockade runner's keen, supreme delight, — 
Dear Dixie Land, the haven of our dreams! 

— James Sprunt. 

iFirst published in the North Carolina Booklet. 


Blockade Running 


Some idea of the mag-nitude of the blockade running in- 
terests involving the Cape Fear alone may be gathered from 
Badeau's statement that "in little more than a year before 
the capture of Fort Fisher, the ventures of British capitalists 
and speculators with Wilmington alone had amounted to 
sixty-six million dollars in gold, and sixty-five million dollars 
worth of cotton in gold had been exported in return." 

In the same period 397 steamers had run the blockade at 
Wilmington. Eidpath says that the number of prizes of 
blockade runners made during the four years' war was 
1,504 vessels captured, stranded, or destroyed. 

Admiral Porter, who directed the naval operations against 
Fort Fisher, says that a telegraphic dispatch from General 
Lee to Colonel Lamb, at Fort Fisher, was captured, which 
read as follows: "If Fort Fisher falls, I shall have to 
evacuate Richmond." 

In "Tales of the Cape Fear Blockade," published in the 
North Carolina Booklet, February 10, 1902, page 20, under 
the caption "Financial Estimates," the writer said: 

"I have not been able to obtain an approximate estimate 
of the value of supplies brought by blockade runners into the 
Confederacy during the four years' war, nor the amount of 
the losses by shipowners who failed to make a successful 
voyage through the Federal fleet. I have, however, carefully 
computed the actual sum realized by the United States 
Government from public sales of prizes, recorded by Ad- 
miral Porter in his Naval History of the Civil War, which 
aggTegates $21,759,595.05 ; to which may reasonably be added 
$10,000,000 for prizes to my knowledge not included in this 
report, and $10,000,000 more for valuable ships and cargoes 
stranded or destroyed by design or accident while attempting 
to escape from the blockading squadron. This total of $42,- 


000,000 represents only a part, perhaps one-half, of the capital 
invested. Many successful steamers ran up their profits into 
millions. A steamer carrying 1,000 bales of cotton some- 
times realized a profit of a quarter of a million dollars on 
the inward and outward run, within two weeks. Cotton 
could be purchased in the Confederacy for three cents per 
pound in gold, and sold in England at the equivalent of 
forty-five cents to one dollar a pound, and the profits on some 
classes of goods brought into the Confederacy were in the 
same proportion. It is probably within the bounds of truth 
to say that the blockade running traffic during the war, in- 
cluding the cost of the ships, amounted to about one hundred 
and fifty millions of dollars, gold standard. 

The Confederate States steamer R. E. Lee, under Captain 
Wilkinson, ran the blockade at Wilmington twenty-one times 
and carried abroad nearly seven thousand bales of cotton, 
worth at that time about two million dollars in gold, and she 
also took into the Confederacy equally valuable cargoes. 

The steamer Siren, most successful of all, made sixty- 
four runs through the blockade and her profits ran into mil- 

Montesquieu has said that it is not the number of killed 
and wounded in a battle that determines its general historical 
importance, and Creasy, in the Fifteen Decisive Battles of the 
World, from Marathon to Waterloo, says : "It is not because 
only a few hundred fell in the battle by which Joan of Arc 
captured the Tourelles and raised the siege of Orleans that 
the effect of that crisis is to be judged." 

Napoleon said that an army moves upon its belly. The 
resources of the Confederate Army commissariat, steadily 
depleted by the incessant drain upon the food producers and 
by the blockade of all other Southern ports, were largely sus- 
tained during the war by the successful blockade runners 
from the West Indies to Wilmington, whence cargoes of in- 
creasing value were inmaediately transported to our starving 
Confederates in the field; but when the multiplied arms of 


the new !N"avj, like the deadly tentacles of the octopus, 
reached into every hiding place of these fugitives of the sea, 
they gradually brought to an end, in the capture of Fort 
Fisher, this wonderful epoch in our naval and commercial 

The ISTew Inlet, since closed by the harbor and river im- 
provements, was more frequently used by the blockade run- 
ners than the main bar, under the guns of Fort Caswell. 
New Inlet was protected for four years by Fort Fisher, 
which commanded the last gateway between the Confederate 
States and the outside world. Its capture, with the resulting 
loss of all the Cape Fear River defenses and Wilmington, 
the entrepot of the Confederacy, effectually ended blockade 
running and compelled the subsequent surrender of the Con- 
federate Army in the field, for General Lee had previously 
sent word to Colonel Lamb that Fort" Fisher must he held, or 
he could not subsist his army. 

It was, therefore, not the valor of the Federal or of the 
Confederate forces in the contest at Fisher, in which were 
killed and wounded nearly as many of the assaulting forces 
as the whole garrison of the Fort Fisher defenders, that made 
it most memorable in the history of the war. It was the fatal 
blow to the Confederacy commissariat, the cutting off of its 
supplies, the starvation of Lee's army, the closure of the 
last hope of the Confederacy, which gives to the victory of 
Curtis, the gallant leader of the Union forces at Fort Fisher, 
its lasting importance as an historical event. 



The following communication, prepared for me by tlie late 
Col. James G. Burr, of Wilmington, will be read with inter- 

"In the month of August, 1862, Zebulon B. Vance, then 
a colonel of a North Carolina regiment serving in the Army 
of Northern Virginia, and quite a young man, was elected 
governor of the State by a larg-e majority. He did not seek 
the office. In fact, he objected to the use of his name, for the 
reason that he preferred the position that he then held in the 
Army, and for the further reason that he thought he was 
too young to be governor. The people, however, thought 
differently and he was borne into office by a popular upheaval. 
With what energy and vigor he discharged his duties, how 
true he was in every way to his State and his people, are 
matters of history and need not be referred to here. He was 
inaugurated the ensuing September and early in his ad- 
ministration he conceived the idea of purchasing for the 
State a steamer to run the blockade at Wilmington, bringing 
in supplies for our soldiers in the field and for our suffering 
people at home.^ 

"Capt. Thomas N. Crossan, formerly of the U. S. Navy, 
was accordingly sent to England with Mr. Hughes, of New 
Bern, where, in conjunction with Mr. John White, the agent 
of the State in England at the time, they purchased the fine 
side-wheel steamer Lord Clyde, then running between Glas- 
gow and Dublin, which name before her advent into Southern 
waters was changed to that of Advance ov Ad Vance, the 
latter in compliment to the disting-uished war Governor, 
through whose instructions and active influence the purchase 
had been made. 

iDuring the Revolution the State made heavy importations and 
had vessels engaged in running the blockade; and early in 1861 that 
precedent was again recommended, especially by Gen. J. G. Martin, 
the adjutant general of the State, and ample funds were provided. 
When Vance came in as governor the time was ripe for it, and he 
wisely carried the plan into execution. 


"In the spring of 1863 the Advance made her first success- 
ful trip through the blockaders and arrived safely in the 
harbor of Wilmington, bringing a large amount of much- 
needed supplies. The Grovernor was informed of her arrival 
and came to Wilmington immediately, and the next day, 
Sunday, went down on one of the river steamers with a num- 
ber of his friends to the ship, which was lying at the quaran- 
tine station about fifteen or sixteen miles below the city. 
After spending several hours on board examining the ship and 
partaking of the hospitalities of its officers, it was determined 
to take her up to the city without waiting for a permit from 
the health officers, as it was assumed the Governor's presence 
on board would be a justification for the violation of quaran- 
tine regulations. Accordingly steam was raised and she 
came up to the city and was made fast to the wharf in front 
of the Custom House. This was objected to by Major 
Strong, aid-de-camp to General Whiting, as being in vio- 
lation of quarantine regulations, and he ordered the vessel 
to return to her quarantine berth. But the Chairman of the 
Board of Commissioners of ISTavigation was sent for and he 
gave a permit for the vessel to remain where she was, and 
for all persons who wished to land to do so. 

"The Advance was a first class ship in every respect and 
had engines of great power and very highly finished, and her 
speed was good. With a pressure of twenty pounds to the 
square inch she easily averaged seventeen knots to the hour, 
and when it was increased to thirty pounds she reeled off 
twenty knots without difficulty. Her officers were Captain 
Crossan, commander ; Captain Wylie, a Scotchman, who came 
over with her, sailing master ; Mr. Hughes, of ISTew Bern, pur- 
ser; Capt. George Morrison, chief engineer. The only objec- 
tion to her was her size and heavy draught of water, the latter 
rendering it difficult for her to cross the shoals, which at that 
time were a great bar to the navigation of the river, and in 
consequence of which she could never go out or return with a 
full cargo of cotton or supplies. 


"She ran the blockade successfully seven or eight trips, 
bringing in all kinds of supplies that were much needed by 
our troops and people, thanks to the energy and wise foresight 
of our patriotic war Governor. The regularity of her trips 
was remarkable and could be calculated upon almost to the 
very day ; indeed it was common to hear upon the streets the 
almost stereotyped remark: 'Tomorrow the Advance will 
be in,' and when the morrow came she could generally be 
seen gliding up to her dock with the rich freight of goods 
and wares so greatly needed by our people. In the mean- 
time, however, she had several narrow escapes from capture. 
Coming from ISTassau on one occasion, the weather being very 
stormy and a heavy fog prevailing, she ran ashore opposite 
Fort Caswell and remained there for two days. The sea 
was so rough that the blockaders could not approach near 
enough to do her any damage, and after discharging part of 
her cargo she was relieved from her perilous position and got 
safely into port. But the most exciting trip was one made 
in the month of July, 1864, from Bermuda. She had on 
board as passengers a number of prominent gentlemen, among 
them Marshall Kane, of Baltimore, Rev. Dr. Moses D. Hoge, 
of Richmond, Va., and others who had come down from St. 
Johns, JSTew Brunswick, and joined the ship at Bermuda, 
and who were extremely anxious to reach the Confederate 
States. By some error in calculation, instead of making Cape 
Fear light at 3 a. m., as was intended, they made the light 
on Cape Lookout, a long distance out of their course. What 
was best to be done was the question to be solved, and to be 
solved at once, for daylight comes very soon in July. The 
ship had scarcely enough coal in her bunkers to take her back 
to the port she had left and almost certain capture stared 
them in the face should they attempt to run in. It was de- 
termined, however, to make the attempt to get in. The ship 
was headed for 'New Inlet, and, hugging the shore as closely 
as possible, with all steam on she dashed down the coast with 
the speed of a thoroughbred on a hotly contested race course. 


Fortunately, at that time many persons were engaged in mak- 
ing salt on the coast, and the smoke rising from the works 
created a cloud, or mist, which concealed the ship from the 
blockaders, although it was broad day ; but as she neared the 
inlet she was compelled to change her course further out to 
sea on account of a shoal or spit that makes out into the 
ocean at that point, and she was immediately discovered by 
the blockading fleet, that opened fire upon her and gave chase 
like a pack of hounds in eager pursuit of a much coveted 
quarry. It was a most trying situation, for the ship was 
compelled to keep her course, although it carried her nearer 
and nearer to the enemy, until she could round the shoal and 
run in towards the land, when she would be in comparative 
safety. Eound shot and shell were flying around her in every 
direction, but she held steadily on, though rushing, as it 
seemed, to certain destruction, when suddenly a roar was 
heard from the fort — the heavy gTins upon the mound had 
opened upon the pursuers and with such effect as to check 
their speed and force them to retire; and the gallant ship, 
which had been so hardly pressed, soon rounded the shoal and 
was safe beneath the sheltering guns of the fort. 

"But the pitcher that goes often to the fountain is broken at 
last, and the time came when the career of the Advance, as a 
blockade runner, was to cease forever. She was captured on 
her outward trip a few miles from our coast, owing to an 
inferior quality of coal she was compelled to use, which was 
very bituminous and emitted a black smoke that betrayed her 
to the watchful eyes of the fleet, and, being surrounded by 
them, she was obliged to surrender with her cargo of cotton, 
her ofiicers and crew becoming prisoners. She was a noble 
ship, gTeatly endeared to the people of our State, and her 
capture was felt as a personal calamity. 

"In 1867 she made her reappearance in the waters of the 
Cape Fear as the United States man of war Frolic, sent to 
this port to prevent the Cuban warship Cuba from leaving 
Wilmington, which duty was successfully performed. It 
happened on that occasion that Capt. George Morrison, 


her former engineer, met some of her officers and was asked 
bj them her rate of speed while he had charge of her en- 
gines. He replied, 'Seventeen knots, easily.' 'Impossible,' 
thej said, 'for we have not been able to get more than eight 
or nine out of her.' 'Something wrong then,' said the Cap- 
tain, 'and, unless you have made some alterations in her 
machinery, I will guarantee to drive her to Smithville at a 
rate of seventeen knots an hour.' He was cordially invited on 
board to examine, did so, and found that they had placed a 
damper whei-e it ought not to have been, which prevented the 
generation of steam. He removed it, and then ran down to 
Smithville at a rate of nineteen knots an hour, to the gTeat 
surprise of all on board. 

"As Captain Morrison held such an important position on 
the Advance and was so competent and reliable, it is thought 
that a brief sketch of his early life will not be out of place in 
this volume. He was born in Philadelphia, served four years 
in a machine shop, and at the expiration of his service re- 
moved to Baltimore, where he was appointed engineer on 
one of the Chesapeake Bay boats; subsequently he was chief 
engineer of a steamer plying between ISTorfolk, Old Point 
Comfort, and the Eastern and Western shore of Virginia. 
He came to Wilmington about 1840 and was appointed as- 
sistant engineer on the steamer Gladiator running between 
Wilmington and Charleston. When the boat was sold, he 
became a conductor on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, 
and served with great acceptability for a long series of years. 
He made six trips on the Advance, but was not on board when 
she was captured. Por more than fifty years he was a citizen 
of Wilmington and enjoyed in his green old age the general 
esteem of the community. 

"Another engineer on the Adva7ice was Capt. James Ma- 
glenn, an Irishman, who on her last trip was chief engineer. 
After her capture, the Advance was carried into ISTew Bern, 
where Captain Maglenn escaped, and got to Baltimore. There 
some friends aided him to escape to Canada. When he was 


on the train he observed an officer and a guard come into the 
car, and he was very apprehensive. But the officer engaged 
himself in ascertaining how the passengers would vote, and 
while many voted for McClellan, Maglenn observed that the 
officer's eyes brightened when any one voted for Lincoln. 
When, therefore, the officer stopped opposite to him and asked, 
looking at him very intently, 'Who do you vote for?' In a 
voice loud enough to be heard throughout the car, he answered 
'I cast my vote for President Lincoln.' The officer slapped 
him on the shoulder, and said, 'You are the right sort, my 
friend.' Several passengers then came up and shook hands 
with him. Maglenn was very happy when he had got well 
into Canada. 

"After the war he was engineer on the Coast Line, master 
mechanic of the Carolina Central, and superintendent of 
motive power of the Seaboard. In all walks of life and in 
every association with his fellow-men he was honest, true, and 
faithful. He lived many years in Ealeigh, where he recently 


One of the most intelligent and successful commanders in 
the blockade running fleet was Capt. John Wilkinson, who 
entered the TJ. S. ISTavy as a midshipman in 1837, and, after 
an honorable and distinguished career, tendered his services 
to the Confederacy upon the secession of his native State, 

Having received a commission in the C. S. Navy, he 
served in various responsible positions, until ordered upon 
special service in command of the C. S. steamer R. E. Lee. 

In his interesting book entitled Narrative of a Blockade 
Runner, with reference to the citizens of Virginia who 
resigned their commissions in the old service, he says : "They 
were compelled to choose whether they would aid in subju- 
gating their State, or in defending it against invasion ; for it 


was already evident that coercion would be used by the Gen- 
eral Government, and that war was inevitable. In reply to 
the accusation of perjury in breaking their oath of allegiance, 
since brought against the officers of the Army and Navy who 
resigned their commissions to render aid to the South, it 
need only be stated that, in their belief, the resignation of 
their commissions absolved them from any special obligation. 
They then occupied the same position towards the Govern- 
ment as other classes of citizens. But this charge was never 
brought against them until the war was ended. The resigna- 
tion of their commissions was accepted when their purpose 
was well knovm. As to the charge of ingratitude, they 
reply, their respective States had contributed their full share 
towards the expenses of the General Government, acting as 
their disbursing agent ; and, when these States withdrew from 
the Union, their citizens belonging to the two branches of 
the public service did not, and do not, consider themselves 
amenable to this charge for abandoning their official positions 
to cast their lot with their kindred and friends. But, yield- 
ing as they did to necessity, it was nevertheless a painful act 
to separate themselves from companions with whom they had 
been long and intimately associated, and from the flag under 
which they had been proud to serve." 

With reference to his experience in blockade running at 
Wilmington, Captain Wilkinson writes : 

"The natural advantages of Wilmington for blockade run- 
ning were very great, owing chiefly to the fact that there were 
two separate and distinct approaches to Cape Fear River; 
i. e., either by ISTew Inlet to the north of Smiths Island, or 
by the Western Bar to the south of it. This island is ten or 
eleven miles in length; but the Frying Pan Shoals extend 
ten or twelve miles further south, making the distance by sea 
between the two bars thirty miles or more, although the direct 
distance between them is only six or seven miles. From 
Smithville, a little village about equidistant from the two 
bars, both blockading fleets could be distinctly seen ; and the 


outward bound blockade runuers could take their choice 
through which to run the gauntlet. The inward bound block- 
ade runners, too, were guided by circumstances of wind and 
weather, selecting that bar over which they would cross after 
they had passed the Gulf Stream, and shaping their course 
accordingly. The approaches to both bars were clear of dan- 
ger, with the single exception of the 'Lump' before men- 
tioned ; and so reg-ular are the soundings that the shore can be 
coasted for miles within a stone's throw of the breakers. 

"These facts explain why the United States fleets were 
unable wholly to stop blockade running. It was, indeed, im- 
jDossible to do so ; the result to the very close of the war 
proves this assertion; for, in spite of the vigilance of the 
fleet, many blockade runners were afloat when Fort Fisher 
was captured. In fact, the passage through the fleet was 
little dreaded; for, although the blockade runner might re- 
ceive a shot or two, she was rarely disabled ; and, in propor- 
tion to the increase of the fleet, the greater we knew would 
be the danger of its vessels firing into each other. As the 
boys before the deluge used to say, they would be very apt to 
^miss the cow and kill the calf.' The chief danger was upon 
the open sea, many of the light cruisers having gTeat speed. 
As soon as one of them discovered a blockade runner during 
daylight, she would attract other cruisers in the vicinity by 
sending up a dense column of smoke, visible for many miles 
in clear weather. A cordon of fast steamers stationed ten or 
fifteen miles apart, inside the Gulf Stream, and in the course 
from Nassau and Bermuda to Wilmington and Charleston, 
would have been more effective in stopping blockade running 
than the whole United States 'Navy concentrated off these 
ports. It was unaccountable to us why such a plan did not 
occur to good Mr. Welles, but it was not our business to sug- 
gest. I have no doubt, however, that the fraternity to which 
I then belonged would have unanimously voted thanks and a 
service of plate to the Honorable Secretary of the United 
States Navy for this oversight. 


"I say, inside the Gulf Stream ; because every experienced 
captain of a blockade runner made it a point to cross the 
Stream early enough in the afternoon, if possible, to establish 
the ship's position by chronometer, so as to escape the influ- 
ence of that current upon his dead reckoning. The lead 
always gave indication of our distance from the land, but not, 
of course, of our position ; and the numerous salt works along 
the coast, where evaporation was produced by fire, and which 
were at work night and day, were visible long before the 
coast could be seen. Occasionally, the whole inward voyage 
would be made under adverse conditions. Cloudy, thick 
weather and heavy gales would prevail so as to prevent any 
solar or lunar observations, and reduce the dead reckoning 
to mere guess work. In these cases, the nautical knowledge 
and judgment of the captain would be taxed to the utmost. 
The current of the Gulf Stream varies in velocity and, within 
certain limits, in direction ; and the Stream itself, almost 
as well defined as a river within its banks under ordinary 
circumstances, is impelled by a strong gale towards the direc- 
tion in which the wind is blowing, overflowing its banks as 
it were. The counter current, too, inside of the Gulf Stream 
is much influenced by the prevailing winds. 

"Upon one occasion, while in command of the B. E. Lee, 
formerly the Clyde built iron steamer Giraffe, we had ex- 
perienced very heavy and thick weather, and had crossed the 
Stream and struck soundings about midday. The weather 
then clearing, so that we could obtain an altitude near merid- 
ian, we found ourselves at least forty miles north of our sup- 
posed position, and near the shoals which extend in a south- 
erly direction off Cape Lookout. It would be more perilous 
to run out to sea than to continue on our course, for we had 
passed through the off-shore line of blockaders, and the sky 
had become perfectly clear. I determined to personate a 
transport bound to Beaufort, a port which was in possession 
of the United States forces and the coaling station of the 
fleet blockading Wilmington. The risk of detection was not 


very great, for many of the captured blockade runners were 
used as transports and dispatch vessels. Shaping our course 
for Beaufort, and slowing down, as if we were in no haste 
to get there, we passed several vessels, showing United States 
colors to them all. Just as we were crossing the ripple of 
shallow water off the 'tail' of the shoals, we dipped our 
colors to a sloop-of-war which passed three or four miles to 
the south of us. The courtesy met prompt response; but 
I have no doubt her captain thought me a lubberly and care- 
less seaman to shave the shoals so closely. We stopped the 
engines when no vessels were in sight; and I was relieved 
from a heavy burden of anxiety as the sun sank below the 
horizon, and our course was shaped at full speed for Mason- 
boro Inlet. 

''The staid old town of Wilming-ton was turned 'topsy- 
turvy' during the war. Here resorted the speculators from 
all parts of the South, to attend the weekly auctions of im- 
ported cargoes; and the town was infested with rogues and 
desperadoes, who made a livelihood by robbery and murder. 
It was unsafe to venture into the suburbs at night, and even 
in daylight there were frequent conflicts in the public streets 
between the crews of steamers in port and the soldiers sta- 
tioned in the town, in which knives and pistols would be 
freely used ; and not infrequently a dead body with marks of 
violence upon it would rise to the surface of the water in 
one of the docks. The civil authorities were powerless to 
prevent crime. 'Inter arma silent leges!' The agents and 
employees of different blockade running companies lived in 
magnificent style, paying a king's ransom (in Confederate 
money) for their household expenses, and nearly monopoliz- 
ing the supplies in the country market. Towards the end of 
the war, indeed, fresh provisions were almost beyond the 
reach of every one. Our family servant, newly arrived from 
the country in Virginia, would sometimes return from market 
with an empty basket, having flatly refused to pay what he 
called 'such nonsense prices' for a bit of fresh beef or a hand- 


fill of vegetables. A quarter of lamb, at the time of whicb I 
now write, sold for $100 ; a pound of tea for $500. Confed- 
erate money wbich in September, 1861, was nearly equal 
to specie in value, had declined in September, 1862, to 225; 
in the same month in 1863, to 400, and before September, 
1864, to 2,000. 

"Many of the permanent residents of the town had gone 
into the country, letting their houses at enormous prices; 
those who were compelled to remain kept themselves much 
secluded, the ladies rarely being seen upon the more public 
streets. Many of the fast young officers belonging to the 
Army would get an occasional leave to come to Wilmington ; 
and would live at free quarters on board the blockade runners, 
or at one of the numerous bachelor halls ashore. 

"The convalescent soldiers from the Virginia hospitals 
were sent by the route through Wilmington to their homes 
in the South. The ladies of the town were organized by Mrs. 
DeRosset into a society for the purpose of ministering to the 
wants of these poor sufferers, the trains which carried them 
stopping an hour or two at the station that their wounds 
might be dressed and food and medicine supplied to them. 
These self-sacrificing, heroic women patiently and faithfully 
performed the offices of hospital nurses. 

"Liberal contributions to this society were made by both 
companies and individuals, and the long tables at the station 
were spread with delicacies for the sick to be found nowhere 
else in the Confederacy. The remains of the meals were 
carried by the ladies to a camp of mere boys — home guards — 
outside of the town. Some of these children were scarcely 
able to carry a musket, and were altogether unable to endure 
the exposure and fatigue of field service; and they suffered 
fearfully from measles and typhoid fever. General Grant 
used a strong figure of speech when he asserted that 'the cra- 
dle and the grave were robbed to recruit the Confederate 
armies.' The fact of a fearful drain upon the population was 
not exaggerated. Both shared the hardships and dangers of 


war with equal self-devotion to the cause. It is true that a 
class of heartless speculators infested the country, who prof- 
ited by the scarcity of all sorts of supplies; but this fact 
makes the self-sacrifice of the mass of the Southern people 
more conspicuous ; and no State made more liberal voluntary 
contributions to the armies, or furnished better soldiers, than 
North Carolina. 

"On the opposite side of the river from Wilmington, on a 
low, marshy flat, were erected the steam cotton presses, and 
there the blockade runners took in their cargoes. Sentries 
were posted on the wharves, day and night, to prevent desert- 
ers from getting on board and stowing themselves away ; and 
the additional precaution of fumigating the outward bound 
steamers at Smithville was adopted; but, in spite of this 
vigilance, many persons succeeded in getting a free passage 
abroad. These deserters, or 'stowaways,' were, in most in- 
stances, sheltered by one or more of the crew ; in which event 
they kept their places of concealment until the steamer had 
arrived at her port of destination, when they would profit 
by the first opportunity to leave the vessel undiscovered. A 
small bribe would tempt the average blockade running sailor 
to connive at this means of escape. The 'impecunious' de- 
serter fared worse, and would usually be forced by hunger and 
thirst to emerge from his hiding place while the steamer was 
on the outward voyage. A cruel device employed by one of 
the captains effectually put a stop, I believe — certainly a 
check — to this class of 'stowaways.' He turned three or four 
of them adrift in the Gulf Stream, in an open boat, with a 
pair of oars, and a few days' allowance of bread and water." 



During mj intercourse with officers of celebrated blockade 
running ships in the years 1863 and 1864, I met a mariner 
named M. P. Usina, from Charleston, familiarly known as 
Mike TJsina, whose skill and daring made him famous in 
Nassau and Bermuda and in all of the Atlantic States. The 
American consul at :N"assau, Mr. Whiting, eager for his cap- 
ture by the cruisers which hovered near the British islands, 
bought Usina's portraits from a local photographer, and sent 
them broadcast among the Federal commanders in order to 
identify him when captured, as many Southerners escaped 
long confinement by claiming to be Englishmen. Captain 
Usina seemed to have a charmed life, but he was in reality 
so cool under fire, and so resourceful in a tight place or situ- 
ation, that he slipped through their fingers frequently when 
his capture seemed certain. 

I remember some of the incidents connected with his 
blockade experience which stirred my blood long years ago 
and which I still recall with something of the old time en- 
thusiasm. In a speech before the Confederate Veterans' As- 
sociation of Savannah, July 4, 1893, which I have carefully 
preserved, Captain Usina told a number of thrilling stories of 
his career which deserve honorable mention in the history 
of the strenuous times which he most graphically described. 
On that occasion he said : 

"The men who ran the blockade had to be men who could 
stand fire without returning it. It was a business in which 
every man took his life in his hands, and he so understood it. 
An ordinarily brave man had no business on a blockade 
runner. He who made a success of it was obliged to have the 
cunning of a fox, the patience of a Job, and the bravery of a 
Spartan warrior. The United States Government wanted at 
first to treat them as pirates and was never satisfied to con- 
sider them contrabandists. The runners must not be armed 
and must not resist ; they must simply be cool and quick and 


watchful, and, for the rest, trust to God and their good ship 
to deliver them safely to their friends. 

"The United States blockade squadron on the Atlantic 
coast consisted of about 300 vessels of all kinds, sailing ves- 
sels, three-deckers, monitors, iron-clads, and svcift cruisers — 
most of them employed to prevent the blockade runners from 
entering Charleston and Wilmington, these being the ports 
where most of the blockade running was done. At each of 
these ports there were three lines of ships anchored in a semi- 
circle, so that our vessels had to run the gauntlet through 
these three lines before they had the enemy astern and their 
haven ahead. Besides these, the ocean between the Confeder- 
ate ports and the Bermudas and the West Indies was policed 
by many of the fastest ships that money could buy or build, 
so that we had practically to run two blockades to reach a 
Southern port. The swiftest of the captured blockade run- 
ners were put into this service, and I have more than once 
been chased by ships of which I had myself been an officer. 

"A few instances will suffice to illustrate the fact that the 
risks to be taken by the blockade runners were not confined 
to our own coast, and they will also illustrate the impunity 
with which the Federal blockaders practically blockaded 
friendly ports in violation of the neutrality laws governing 
nations at peace with each other. 

"English steamers with an English crew and without cargo 
bound from one English port to another, were taken as prizes 
simply because they were suspected of being brought to the 
Islands to be used as blockade runners. 

"During the afternoon of March 3, 1863, while going from 
Kassau to Havana in the steamer Stonewall Jackson, we 
were sighted by the R. R. Cuyler, which chased us for thirteen 
hours along the Cuban coast until early the next morning, 
when we passed by the Morro Castle flying the Confederate 
flag, with the Cuyler a short half mile astern of us flying the 
stars and stripes. 

"In 1864, the Margaret and Jessie, bound from Charleston 


to ISTassau, was chased and fired into while running along the 
coast of Eleutheria, within the neutral distance — an English 
league — the shot and shell passing over her fell into the pine- 
apple fields of the Island. She was finally run ashore by her 
captain to prevent her sinking from the effects of the enemy's 

"On one occasion I was awakened by the sound of cannon 
in the early morning at J^assau, and imagine my surprise to 
see a Confederate ship being fired at by a Federal ship-of-war. 
The Confederate proved to be the Antonica, Captain Coxetter, 
who arrived off the port during the night, and waiting for a 
pilot and daylight, found when daylight did appear that an 
enemy's ship was between him and the bar. There was noth- 
ing left for him to do but run the gauntlet and take his fire, 
which he did in good shape, some of the shot actually falling 
into the harbor. The Federal ship was commanded by Com- 
modore Wilkes, who became widely known from taking Mason 
and Slidell prisoners. After the chase was over Wilkes an- 
chored his ship, and when the Governor sent to tell him that 
he must not remain at anchor there, he said : 'Tell the Gov- 
ernor, etc., etc., he would anchor where he pleased.' The mili- 
tary authorities sent their artillery across to Hog Island, near 
where he was anchored, and we Confederates thought the fun 
was about to begin. But Wilkes remained just long enough 
to communicate with the consul and get what information he 
wanted, and left. 

"All this vigilance on the part of the Yankees made the 
trip a very hazardous one, and the man who failed to keep 
the sharpest kind of a lookout was more apt to bring up in a 
^Northern prison than in a Confederate port. Then, too, the 
Yankee cruisers managed to keep pretty well posted as to our 
movements through the American consuls stationed at the 
different ports frequented by our vessels. 

"Having occasion to go from ISTassau to Bermuda, and 
there being no regular line between the islands, I chartered 
a schooner to take me and part of my crew there, and we had 


sailed within about sixty miles of our destination when, at 
daylight, we were spoken by the United States ship-of-war 
Shenandoah. Her officer asked: 'What schooner is that, 
where from, and where bound to ?' Our captain was below 
and I answered him : 'Schooner Royal, bound from I^assau to 
Bermuda.' He ordered: 'Lower your boat and come along- 
side.' I said: 'I'll see you, etc., etc., and then I won't.' 
^Nothing further was said, but in about twenty minutes they 
sent an armed boat alongside. 

"In the meantime I had our captain called and the English 
ensign hoisted. Upon coming on deck the officer, quite a 
young lieutenant, was showni below, and after examining the 
vessel's papers, which he found 0. K., he was about to return 
to his ship when I invited him to have a glass of wine with 
me. I have never forgotten his answer. 'I hadn't oughter, 
but I reckon I will.' After a little wine he grew talkative. 
He asked if I had not answered their hail, and when I replied 
'Yes,' said 'I thought so, it sounded like you.' 'Why, what 
do you know about me?' I asked. 'Oh, I know enough to 
surprise you.' 'That is something no one has ever done yet' 
'Would you be surprised if I told you that your name is 
Usina V 'Oh, no, my name is Marion Eobinson.' 'How about 
the man who sat on the rail near you when I came on board ? 
He is your man Irvin.' 'You have it bad this morning,' said 
I. 'Does wine usually affect you that way ?' 'You know that 
I am giving it to you straight,' said he. 'Oh, no, you're 
badly mixed.' 'Will you think I'm mixed when I tell you 
that that little Frenchman is John Sassard, your chief engi- 
neer ; that red-headed fellow over there is !Nelson, your 
chief officer; these are all your men, and you are going to 
Bermuda to take charge of a new ship.' 'Well,' said I, 'you 
certainly have it bad, you had better not take any more wine.' 
'Will you acknowledge I am right now V said he, and pro- 
duced my photograph with my history written on the back of 
it. I had to acknowledge it then ; but I was under the pro- 
tection of Her Most Gracious Majesty, and he had to admit 


his inability to take me now, though he promised to capture 
me before long and boasted that he had come very near me 
often before. But 'close' didn't count any more then than it 
does now, and he promised to treat me well if he should ever 
have the chance, and so we parted good friends. 

"I afterward found out that his ship had called at ISTassau 
shortly after our leaving there, and the Consul had given 
him my picture and the information which he sprung on 
me. I learned then that the photographers there had been 
making quite a nice thing selling the pictures of blockade run- 
ners to the United States authorities, together with what 
information they could gather about the originals, and the 
result was that with but one exception (Captain Coxetter, who 
was too wise to have his picture taken) the Yankees had all 
our pictures, which did then, and perhaps do still, adorn the 
rogues' gallery in Ludlow Street jail, JSTew York City. Thus 
many a poor fellow, who thought he was successfully passing 
himself off as an Englishman, was identified and sent to 
Lafayette or Warren, two winter resorts that are not too 
pleasantly remembered by some of my old shipmates. 

"The enemy's ships were provided with powerful calcium 
searchlights, which, if a blockade runner was in reach, would 
light her up about as well as an electric light would at the 
present time, and make her a perfect target for the enemy's 
fire. I have several times been just far enough to be out of 
reach of the light and by circling around it to dodge them in 
the darkness. Another plan they adopted was to throw 
rockets over the ship occasionally, showing to all the vessels 
of the fleet the course taken by the fugitive. I think one of 
the worst frights I had during the war was the landing of a 
rocket on deck close to where I was standing. While we 
could not circumvent their searchlights, I succeeded in making 
the rocket scheme useless by providing myself with a quantity 
of them, firing back at them whenever they fired at us, or 
firing them in every direction, making it impossible to tell 
in which direction the chased ship was going. 


"Among the vessels blockading Wilmington in 1864 was 
the little side-wheel steamer Nansemond, after the war a reve- 
nue cutter, and stationed at this place. She had a rifle gun 
mounted at each end, and being quite fast made several valu- 
able captures. I remember that among the craft captured 
bj her was the steamer Hope, Capt. Wm. Hammer, of 
Charleston, with 1,800 bales of cotton and more men on 
board the Hope than there were on board the Nansemond, but 
unfortunately while the Hope was a stronger and larger ship, 
and had more men, she was not allowed to defend herself and 
had to submit to the inevitable. 

"One afternoon, while in command of the Atalanta and ap- 
proaching Wilming-ton, I was sighted by the Nansemond and 
was being chased away from my port. Although I had the 
faster vessel, I realized that if the chase continued much 
longer I would be driven so far from my destination that I 
would not be able to get back that night, and so determined 
that, although I had no guns to fight with, I might try a game 
of bluff. Hoisting the Confederate flag I changed my course 
directly for him, and in a few minutes the tables were turned 
and the chaser was being chased, the Nansemond seeking with 
all possible speed the protection of the ships stationed off the 
bar, and that night the Atalanta was safe once more in Dixie. 

"Several years afterwards I was a passenger on board the 
little revenue cutter Endeavor, better known as the Hunhey 
Dory, bound from Tybee to Savannah, and a stranger to 
every one on board. The conversation drifted into war rem- 
iniscences. Mr. Hapold, the officer in charge of the Hunkey 
Dory, had been an engineer on board the Nansemond 
when stationed on the blockade off Wilmington, and while 
giving his experience, among other incidents he told of the 
narrow escape they had when the Nansemond was decoyed 
away from the fleet by a cruiser, under the guise of a blockade 
runner, that, when she thought the Nansemond was far 
enough away from her friends, ran up the Confederate flag 
and attempted to make a prize of her. 'But,' said he, 'the 


little Nansemond's speed saved her.' You can imagine their 
surprise when informed that I was in charge of the Con- 
federate vessel, which w^as an unarmed ship chasing one that 
was armed. A clear case of 'run big 'fraid, little 'fraid'll 
catch you !' 

"As a rule the blockade runners were ships very slightly 
built, of light draft and totally unfit to brave the storms of the 
Atlantic. Yet the worse the weather the better it was liked, 
since a rough sea greatly reduced the danger from the ene- 
my's guns. In most of the ships the boilers and engines were 
very much exposed, and a single shot to strike the boiler 
meant the death of every one on board. We had no light- 
houses or marks of any kind to guide us, except the enemy's 
fleet, and had to depend upon our observations and surround- 
ings on approaching the coast. Our ships were painted gray, 
to match the horizon at night, some were provided with tele- 
scopic funnels, and masts hinged, so that they could be low- 
ered, and others had the masts taken out altogether. A great 
source of danger, and one which was unavoidable, was the 
black smoke caused from our fires, and for this sign the 
blockaders were always on the lookout. The United States 
Government having forbidden the exportation of anthracite 
coal, there was nothing for us to do but use bituminous and 
take all precautions possible to prevent the issuing of black 
smoke from our funnels. 

"On dark nights it was very difficult to discern their low 
hulls, and moonlight nights, as a rule, were nights of rest, few 
ships venturing to run the gauntlet when the moon was bright. 
'Eo lights were used at sea. Everything was in total silence 
and darkness. To speak above a whisper or to strike a match 
would subject the offender to immediate punishment. Orders 
were passed along the deck in whispers, canvas curtains were 
dropped to the water's edge around the paddles to deaden the 
noise, and men exposed to view on deck were dressed in sheets, 
moving about like so many phantoms on a phantom ship. 

"The impression always prevailed, and still prevails to a 


great extent, that the South has no sailors, but the record of 
the Southern sailors during the war is second to none that the 
world has ever produced, and should the emergency arise 
again, the descendants of the same men will emulate the 
example set by their fathers. I do not think their services 
have ever been understood or appreciated, from the fact that 
so little of their authentic history has ever found its way into 
the hands of the reading public. 

"Most of them had all their relatives and friends in the 
Southern service, suffering untold hardships and exposing 
their lives daily, and they felt it their duty to risk their ships 
and their lives to bring food to our starving countrymen, de- 
termined if their ship was stopped that it must be by the 
enemy and not by their own order. 

''During the first two years of the war the blockade run- 
ners were almost exclusively officered by English and Scotch, 
but during the last two years the danger was very much in- 
creased, and while there can be no question as to the bravery 
of the British sailor, it required the additional incentive of 
patriotism to induce men to venture in the service. It is 
noticeable that nearly all the officers during these last two 
years were Confederates. 

''The first steamship to which I was attached was the side- 
wheel steamer Leopard. She was officered entirely by South- 
ern men, Captain Black, of Savannah, commander; Capt. 
Eobt. Lockwood, of Charleston, pilot, and as gallant a man as 
the war produced. Cool, quiet, and never losing his wits, he 
was an ideal blockade pilot. In the engine room were Peck, 
Barbot, Sassard and Miller, four splendid mechanics and gal- 
lant fellows all. The deck officers were Bradford, Horsey, 
and myself, three boys, twenty-four, twenty-three and twenty- 
two years of age respectively, but each had received his bap- 
tism of fire in Virginia ; Bradford with a Virginia artillery 
company. Horsey with the Washington Artillery of Charles- 
ton, and I with the Oglethorpe Light Infantry of Savannah. 
Yet, though long in the service, not one of us three ever saw the 


inside of a Federal prison. Sucli were the men who supplied 
the munitions of war, clothing, and food for our armies up to 
the close of the war, while the United States Government, 
with an immense fleet of ships and the whole world to draw 
upon, was powerless to prevent it. 

"When I was promoted to the command of the Mary 
Celeste,, I was fortunate to have associated with me as brave 
and faithful a set of officers as ever fell to the lot of any man, 
and I needed them, for I was the boy captain, the youngest 
man to command a blockade runner. My chief engineer was 
John Sassard of Charleston, and I have never known a better 
engineer nor a more conscientious Christian gentleman. I 
never knew him to take a drinji, and I never heard an oath 
issue from his lips. Shrinking from anything like notoriety, 
he was a true Confederate and as brave as brave could be. I 
think one of the best illustrations of his nerve was an incident 
that occurred on my first voyage in command. We had suc- 
ceeded in getting through the blockade off Wilmington and 
shaped a course for Bermuda. Daylight found us in the Gulf 
Stream, the weather dirty, raining, and a heavy sea, our ship 
small and heavily loaded. The rain clearing away, there was 
disclosed to our view a large brig-rigged steamer within easy 
gun shot, with all her canvas set bearing down upon us. I 
found out afterwards that she was the steamship Fulton, a 
very fast ship built for the passenger trade between ITew 
York and Havre, France. 

"We altered our course head to wind and sea, causing the 
chasing steamer to do the same and to take in her sails, which 
gave us a little advantage, but she was a large, able ship, and 
made good weather, while our little craft would bury herself 
clean out of sight, taking the green seas in over the forecastle. 
Calling Mr. Sassard, I said : 'John, this will never do. That 
ship will soon sink us or catch us unless we do better.' He an- 
swered in his quiet manner: 'Captain, I am going all that 
a sane man dare do.' 'Then,' said I, 'you must be insane, 
and that quick, for it is destruction or Fort Lafayette for us, 


and I would rather go to the former. I am going to lighten 
her forward, so that she will go into the sea easier, and you 
must get more revolutions out of the engines.' He went be- 
low, and I took forty-five bales of cotton from forward, rolled 
them abaft the j^addles, cut them open, so that the enemy 
could make no use of them, and threw them overboard. The 
loose cotton floating in our wake caused him to deviate from 
his course occasionally, which helped us some. About this 
time Sassard sent for me to come down to the engine-room, 
where he said : '^Captain, I am getting all the revolutions pos- 
sible out of the engines. I am following steam full stroke; 
this is a new ship, first voyage ; these boilers are, I hope, good 
English iron. All there is now between us and eternity are 
these boilers. How much steam there is on them I do not 
know.' (He had a kedge anchor made fast to the safety 
valve.) In my opinion it takes a mighty brave man to do 
that. I went on deck, threw the log and found the ship to be 
making seventeen miles an hour into a heavy head sea. 'AH 
right,' I said, 'keep that up a little while, and there is no 
ship in the United States Navy that can catch her.' We were 
soon out of range of the enemy's guns and enabled to reduce 
the pressure on the boilers. Sassard and I never separated 
until after the surrender. My first assistant engineer, Mid- 
dleton, was chief of the ill-fated Lelia, and lost his life when 
she went down at the mouth of the Mersey with very nearly 
all hands. My second assistant engineer was the heroic Mc- 
Kay, who afterwards drove the Armstrong for seven hours, 
while three ships were raining shot and shell at her. My 
pilot, Thomas M. Thompson, of Wilmington, was another 
officer who knew no fear, 

"To illustrate more fully the kind of men with whom I was 
associated, I will relate a few incidents that occurred on 
board the Atalanta on her last run into Wilmington, when she 
was turned over to the naval authorities and converted into 
the cruiser Tallahassee. 

"Just before leaving Bermuda for Wilmington, several of 


our fastest ships returned after unsuccessful attempts to get 
into tlie Confederacy and reported that the ocean and coast 
were alive with the enemy's ships and that it was impossible 
to get through. We were ready for sea, however, and I deter- 
mined to make the trial. We approached the entrance to the 
Wilmington harbor, a beautiful moonlight night in July, only 
one day before the full moon. Before approaching the block- 
aders the officers and men were notified that the attempt was 
about to be made with the chances very much against us. 
(There were thirty-five blockaders anchored there the after- 
noon before, counted from Fort Caswell.) But, I said that 
we had four hundred tons of meat for starving soldiers and I 
intended to make a run for it, and if any of them were un- 
willing to take the risk, they were at liberty to take the small 
boats and try to reach the beach. To their credit, be it said, 
not one man availed himseK of the privilege. When I said 
to Mr. Thompson, our fearless pilot, 'Tom, I am going to 
make the attempt, what do you think of it V his answer was 
'I am ready, sir, whenever you are,' and not another word 
was said except the necessary orders for the management of 
the ship. 

"Slowly approaching the vessel I supposed to be the flag 
ship, which we used as a point of departure to find the inlet, 
there being no lights or other marks to find the entrance, I 
was notified by the engineer that he could not hold his steam, 
and that we must either go faster or he would be obliged to 
open his safety valve, something never allowed when the 
enemy was within hearing. I told him to hold on a few mo- 
ments and he would have a chance to work his steam off. We 
could distinctly see the ships in the beautiful moonlight, and 
they were so many that we had to steer directly for and 
through them. As we neared the big flag ship she fired a 
blank cartridge and then a solid shot across our bows ; and 
when near enough to hail us, her officer ordered us in very 
emphatic language to stop that ship or he'd blow us out of 
the water. 


" 'Hold on/ I said, '^until I speak to the engineer/ which I 
did through the speaking tube; but instead of stopping the 
engines, he threw her wide open and she almost flew from 
under our feet. Our neighbors soon found that we were not 
doing very much stopping and attempted to do the stopping 
themselves ; but fortunately for us they failed to do so. 

"My chief officer, a Virginian, named Charles Nelson (and 
well named) was ordered by me to ascertain the depth of wa- 
ter, as our ship was approaching shoal water very rapidly. 
In his deliberate manner he went to the leadsman, found out, 
and reported so slowly that I reproached him for it. Said I, 
'Cannot even a shell make you move faster?' (Two of them 
had exploded between us in the meantime). His answer was 
'What is the use, sir ? I might go just fast enough to get in 
the way of one of them.' This man was afterwards in com- 
mand of the Armstrong, bound from Wilmington to Bermuda, 
about the middle of ITovember, 1864, when, after success- 
fully eluding the vigilance of the blockaders around the 
inlet, he was sighted at 7 o'clock in the morning and then 
began — in my opinion — the most memorable chase in the war. 
She was first seen by the R. R. Cuyler, which was soon joined 
by two other ships ; and the Armstrong was soon in the posi- 
tion of the little hare and three large hounds in pursuit. The 
Cuyler was a large screw steamer built for the passenger 
trade between Savannah and ISTew York. She was named 
after a former president of the Central Railroad, and before 
the war was considered the fastest steamer out of New York. 
At 10 a. m., the first shot was fired from the Cuyler, and for 
seven long hours Nelson walked the bridge, cool and collected, 
not more excited, in fact, than if he was moored to a dock 
in a safe harbor. The Cuyler alone fired 195 shot and shell. 
The top of the paddle-box was shot away ; Nelson, covered up 
with the wreck, shook himself clear. An exploding shell set 
fire to the cabin; the hose was let down, the pumps turned 
on, and the fire put out with less excitement than would be 
seen at a fire in any city in time of peace. The anchors and 


chains were thrown overboard, and the masts were cut away. 
More than 400 bales of cotton were dumped into the sea, and 
everything possible was done to lighten the ship and increase 
her speed ; but of no avail, the sea was too rough for the little 
fugitive to compete with the large ships that were chasing her. 

"At 5 p. m. the captain of the Cuyler hailed Nelson and 
ordered him to stop the ship or he would blow them out of the 
water, (which seemed to be a favorite way the blockaders had 
of expressing themselves). Just about that time the Arm- 
strong's engine-frame broke in two, and she was a prize. 

"The first boat that boarded her had in it a lieutenant and 
a surgeon; the latter, before leaving his boat to go on board 
the Armstrong, asked: 'How many killed and wounded?' 
and strange to say not a man was scratched. It seemed 
miraculous when we consider that all hands, about forty men, 
were on deck engaged in throwing the cargo overboard. One 
of her crew afterwards told me that he could have filled a peck 
measure with the gTape-shot that were gathered up about the 
decks, and that the pieces of shell were shoveled overboard. 
An oificer of the Cuyler said to one of the prisoners, 'We have 
captured twenty-two blockade runners, and I think I know 
whereof I speak when I say your captain is the bravest man 
that runs the blockade.' The Armstrong made a trip to 
Savannah from ISTew York after the war and was called the 

"The leadsman on board a blockade runner occupied a very 
responsible position ; he had to have great physical endurance 
and courage. When shoal water was reached, the safety of the 
ship and the lives of all on board depended upon his skill and 
faithfulness. Were he disposed to be treacherous, he could 
by false soundings, put the ship in the hands of the enemy 
or run the ship in the breakers and endanger the lives of all. 

"My leadsman was a slave owned by myself. On the 
last trip of the Atalanta, while under fire, the ship going very 
fast toward shoal water, I thought possibly he might get 
rattled, and to test him I said, 'Irvin, you can't get correct 
soundings, the ship is going too fast, I'll slow her down for 


you.' He answered, This is no time to slow down, sir, you 
let her go, I'll give you the bottom' ; and he did, he being a 
leadsman without a peer. I have had him in the chains for 
hours in cold winter weather with the spray flying over him, 
cold enough to freeze the marrow in his bones, the ship often 
in very shoal water, frequently not a foot to spare under her, 
and sometimes not that. Yet I never knew him to make a 
mistake or give an incorrect cast of the lead. He is the man 
to whom, when pointing to the island of New Providence, I 
said, 'Every man on that island is as free as I am, so will you 
be when we get there.' He answered, 'I did not want to 
come here to be free, I could have gone to the Yankees long 
ago if I had wished.' And afterward, when the war was 
over, I said to him, 'I am going to England, perhaps never to 
see Savannah again, you had better go home.' His answer 
was, 'I cannot go without you' ; and he did not. The feeling 
that existed between us can only be understood by Southern 
men ; by a Northern man, never. 

"My brave old quartermaster, William Cuthbert, who had 
been with me in the chances and changes of blockade running, 
always took his place at the wheel on trying occasions. He 
had the courage necessary to steer a ship, without flinching, 
through the whole United States fleet. He was a sailor, every 
inch of him. He it was who, when I heard a crash and 
asked him if ho was hurt, answered: 'We are all right, sir, 
but I do not know how much wheel there is left, and the 
compass is gone ; give me a star to steer by.' A shot fired by 
a ship astern of us had passed the two men at the wheel, 
taken out two spokes, destroyed the compass, and buried it- 
self in the deck. He was steering the ship as though nothing 
unusual had happened. 

"While in command of the Armstrong, a very poorly built, 
light draft, side-wheel ship, on a trip from Nassau to Wil- 
mington, having experienced very heavy weather, our steam- 
pipe was injured to such an extent that we found it impos- 
sible to make more than three miles an hour. At that rate 
of speed we could not reach the entrance to Wilmington be- 


fore daylight, and to remain at sea would place us at the 
mercy of the cruisers who were then as thick as bees. So we 
shaped our course to make the land in the neighborhood of 
Georgetown, S. C. 

"When daylight broke, the weather bitterly cold, we found 
ourselves sandwiched between three of the enemy's ships ly- 
ing at anchor near the entrance to Georgetown, the farthest 
not more than two miles from us. "We, of course, ran away 
from them as fast as our crippled condition would allow, ex- 
pecting to be chased and captured in short order, but to our 
surprise and delight they remained quietly at anchor and we 
continued on our course, and when far enough to feel safe 
circled around them and came to anchor ourselves under the 
beach near Little River Inlet and about twenty miles from the 
mouth of the Cape Fear. This remarkable luck can only be 
accoimted for by the extreme cold, which must have prevented 
the Yankee ships from keeping a proper lookout. 

"After making all preparations for setting fire to the ship 
and landing the people if we should be discovered by the 
Federals, we blew oif our steam and proceeded to make tem- 
porary repairs to the steam-pipe. 

"Before coming to anchor my attention was attracted to a 
party of six men on shore making signals to us. I sent a 
boat and brought off the men, who proved to be Federal 
prisoners escaped from Florence, S. C, and who, after many 
days of suffering in a strange country, had succeeded in 
reaching the coast only to find themselves prisoners on board 
of a blockade runner instead of one of Uncle Sam's gun- 
boats, which they fondly imagined us to be. One poor 
fellow remarked : 'I believe the dogs would catch a fellow 
in this country ; this is the third time I have escaped, only to 
be recaptured each time.' 

"I had on board at this time seven Confederates who had 
escaped from Johnson's Island, and whom it was my good 
fortune to come across in Halifax, N". S. Having been on 
board ship some time, they were anxious to get on shore, so I 
landed and found that we had anchored in the neighborhood 


of some salt works, which were quite numerous on this coast, 
and whose fires at night frequently served us in lieu of light- 

"While ashore I secured transportation by wagons, and 
sent my prisoners in charge of the seven Confederates across 
to the railroad and to Wilmington, where they met me the 
next day. While lying at anchor with no steam and perfectly 
helpless three of the enemy's ships passed us almost close 
enough to see the men on deck, but took no notice of us, evi- 
dently mistaking us for one of their own ships. At dark, 
having completed the necessary repairs to the steam-pipe, we 
weighed our anchor and at 11 p. m. were safely anchored 
under the guns of Fort Caswell. 

"At one time I was one of a party of four, who were wait- 
ing at the island of Bermuda for a new ship. We became tired 
of the poor hotel, kept by a Northern man of whom we were 
not very fond, but whose hostelry was the only one there. 
Having an opportunity to do so, we rented a furnished cot- 
tage, and for a little while enjoyed the comforts of a bache- 
lors' hall. Among our visitors were the officers of the Army 
and Navy stationed there, and we became very good friends 
with most of them. They professed to be warm Southern 
sympathizers while under our spiritual influence, and it was 
not long before I had the opportunity to test the good will of 
one of them. 

"Some time in October, 1864, I was anchored a few miles 
from Nassau, taking in a lot of arms and ammunition from 
a schooner alongside. We were all ready to sail, with the 
exception of this lighter load, and had our fires banked, ready 
to get steam at a moment's notice. The American consul 
found out and notified the British authorities that we were 
taking in contraband of war, and an officer was sent from the 
British frigate, then in port, to investigate. As soon as the 
unwelcome visitor was seen approaching, the engineer was 
ordered to pull down his fires, and to be prepared to leave at 
once. Anxiously watching the approaching boat, I recognized 
the officer to be an old Bermuda acquaintance. Lieutenant 


Wilson, who had partaken of our hospitality at our bachelors' 
cottage. As he came alongside, I said: 'Hello, Wilson! 
What brought you here V He answered : 'It is reported that 
you are taking in contraband of war, and I am sent to look 
after you.' 

''As he came over the side a case of rifles was being hoisted 
in from the other side. 'What have you there,' he asked. 
'Hardware,' I said. 'Would you like to examine that case 
now, or will you come below and have a glass of wine first V 

"He decided to take the wine first, and spent quite a while 
sampling some excellent green seal and indulging in reminis- 
cences of the pleasant days spent together at Bermuda, and 
when it was time to return to his ship he had forgotten to 
examine the cases of hardware, which were being hurried 
over the side in the meantime. Eeturning to his boat, not 
without some assistance, as he did not seem to have his sea- 
legs aboard, he bade me farewell, saying : 'Usina, take good 
care of that hardware ; that hardware, you know.' 

"Before he reached his ship and another boat could be sent, 
the hardware was all on board, and the Armstrong was 
steaming for Dixie, where the hardware was soon in the 
hands of men who knew something about that kind of hard- 

"While blockade runners dreaded moonlight, and gladly 
availed themselves of dark night and stormy weather to run 
into the Confederate ports or out of them, yet on several oc- 
casions the gauntlet was run successfully in the daytime. 

"On one occasion we reached the neighborhood of the 
blockaders off Wilmington in a gale of wind. The sea was so 
heavy that if we should get ashore it meant the destruction of 
the ship and the loss of all hands, so we determined, if we 
could live the night through, (of which there was consider- 
able doubt) to make a dash for it at daylight. 

"Just as the day dawned we found ourselves alongside the 
U. S. steamship Huntsville, (an old Savannah trader) which 
immediately gave chase and commenced firing at us. The 
noise of the guns attracted the attention of the other vessels, 



and we soon found ourselves in a hornet's nest. In conse- 
quence of the rough sea, however, their firing was very in- 
accurate, and the batteries near Fort Caswell soon began 
firing over us at them as fast as they came within range, 
causing them to keep at a respectful distance, to cease firing 
at us, and haul off as we neared the fort, so that it was not 
very long before we were in a position to receive the con- 
gratulations of our friends over our lucky escape. 

"On another occasion I made the land between Georgetown 
and Wilmington in the afternoon, and as the night would 
soon be upon us I thought I would get a look at the enemy 
before dark. Accordingly I steamed slowly towards them, 
keeping a bright lookout. 

"As we approached Lockwood's Folly Inlet, twelve miles 
from Fort Caswell, it became apparent that the ship stationed 
there to guard that point was absent from her post, and if we 
could reach there without being seen by the other ships, there 
was a chance that we could gain the protection of our batteries 
before they could head us off, and we determined to try it. 
As we rounded the point of shoals off Lockwood's' Folly, we 
came in full view of all their ships (it seemed to me that 
there were hundreds of them). They at once recognized our 
character and purpose, and then began a most exciting race 
for a given point, our ship going for all she was worth, hug- 
ging the shore and depending upon the leadsman to keep her 
afloat ; the enemy's ships were coming in to head us off and the 
booming of their guns reminded me of the music of a pack 
of hounds in full chase, but on this particular occasion I 
failed to appreciate the music. The signal station, located 
between Lockwood's Folly and Fort Caswell, signaling the 
fort, the commanding officer rushed a couple of Whitworth 
guns down the beach in our direction, and in a little while 
we heard the welcome sound of their shots going over our 
heads, and we were safe. From the time we were seen by the 
enemy until we were under the protection of our guns did not 
occupy more than forty-five minutes, but to us it seemed an 


"One of tlie most valuable cargoes ever brought into tbe 
Confederacy was brought in by the old cruiser Sumter, con- 
verted into a blockade runner and commanded by E. C. Reed. 
Her cargo consisted of arms, ammunition, clothing, cloth, 
medicines, and not the least important articles were the two 
big Blakely gains, which some of you now present may have 
seen mounted at Charleston. They were so large and un- 
wieldy that they were loaded with their muzzles sticking out 
of the hatches. 

"The Sumter was a slow ship, and could not make more 
than nine miles an hour. Unable to get in during the night, 
Reed found himself near the enemy's ships at daylight. To 
attempt to go off shore with so slow a ship meant a chase and 
certain capture. So he determined to try a game of bluff. 
Hoisting the American ensign, he steamed in amongst them, 
paying not the least attention to their signals or movements, 
and when they awoke to the fact that the Sumter was not one 
of themselves, she had the inside track and was soon welcomed 
by the guns of Fort Fisher. 

"The devotion of the women of the Confederacy, and their 
heroic conduct during our struggle for existence, will always 
be held in grateful remembrance by the veterans of the Lost 
Cause. In my career as a blockade runner I chanced to see 
several instances of nerve displayed by them, which would 
do honor to an old soldier. On one of our trips from Ber- 
muda to Wilmington I had with me as a passenger a lady 
from Richmond. On nearing the blockaders I sent her down 
to the cabin, which was below the water line and compara- 
tively safe while we were under fire. A little later, during the 
hot chase and fire which we had to take, I heard a voice at 
my elbow, and turning, saw her at my side. I said : 'I told 
you to go below and stay there' ; but she answered, 'I could 
not remain there in the darkness, hearing the guns; if you 
will let me remain here I'll give you no trouble.' 'Well, you 
may remain,' I told her, 'but you must not speak to any one.' 
She never left the bridge until we were safely anchored under 


the gims of Fort Caswell, and I think was the coolest person 
on board the ship. 

"Upon another occasion the steamer Lynx, Capt. E. C. 
Keed, while attempting to get into Wilmington, was com- 
pletely riddled bj the enemy's ships, and, finding her in a 
sinking condition, she ^vas run ashore near Fort Fisher, to 
prevent her sinking in deep water, the crew escaping to the 
beach in the small boats. A lady passenger, a resident of Wil- 
mington, was sent below when the firing began, where she re- 
mained until the boats were ready to land on the beach ; she 
was found standing knee deep in the water, obeying orders 
'to remain until sent for.' 

"One more incident and I am done with the ladies. 
During the bombardment of Sumter our ship was selected, 
on account of her speed, to take important dispatches from 
the Confederacy to Europe, and we had on board as passen- 
gers a bridal couple. We had to pass out through a terrible 
cross fire from the batteries on Morris Island and James 
Island and the ironclads anchored in Morris Island channel, 
which was returned by Sumter, Moultrie, Ripley, Castle 
Pinckney, and the Confederate vessels. After passing 
through the fireworks display in the neighborhood of Sumter, 
the vessels outside the bar made it lively for us, but daylight 
found us well to sea with no enemy in sight. At the begin- 
ning of the firing, my attention was attracted to the bridal 
couple. The groom had himself spread out upon the deck 
load of cotton, while the bride was standing quietly near by. 
I said to her, 'Are you not frightened, Mrs. B. ?' 'Yes, I am 
frightened,' she said, 'this is terrible, but we are in the hands 
of the Almighty.' You can imagine the respect I enter- 
tained ever after for the gentleman who, with such an example 
before him, displayed such arrant cowardice. 

"Sailors have always been charged with being supersti- 
tious, but while I do not think there is any superstition in 
my composition, yet I think blockade running was a business 
well calculated to develop it, as is indicated, for instance, in 
the names of some of the ships, the Phantom, Will-o'-ihe- 


Wisp, Banshee, Whisper, Dream, Owl, Bat and others of like 
character, the usual objection to sailing on Friday, the car- 
rying of a corpse, etc. One of the funniest notions that came 
under my observation was that if a passage could be obtained 
or freight shipped with a certain cross-eyed Captain K. it 
would be a success. 

"While, as I said, I do not think I am given to superstition, 
yet I had with me a mascot that, I believe, was at that time 
one of the most widely known dogs that ever existed. I was 
known as the man that owned the dog! He was photo- 
graphed at Bermuda, and the artist realized quite a neat sum 
from the sale of his pictures. He was left with me by a 
shipmate who died at sea, and when dying frequently called 
for ^Tinker.' I cherished him for his master's sake, and 
afterwards became warmly attached to him for his own. He 
was a terrier, a great ratter, and fond of the water. He was 
my constant companion. He seemed to know when we were 
approaching the enemy, and to be on the alert, and when 
under fire would follow me step by step. 

"It was our custom, in anticipation of capture or destruc- 
tion of the ship, to prepare the boats for leaving the ship the 
afternoon before running through the fleet. 'Tinker' seemed 
to inspect the work and to devote most particular attention 
to the Captain's boat. The sailors wondered how he knew 
one boat from another, but he certainly did. 

"When I placed my chief officer, ISTelson, in command of the 
Armstrong, I induced some of my men whom I knew could 
be depended upon to go with him, as I was more than anx- 
ious to have him succeed. Among those that I approached 
was my old stand-by, William Cuthbert. His answer was, 
'I do not like to refuse you, but I am too old a man now 
to go to Fort Lafayette in the winter time ; and if you leave 
the ship and take "Tinker" with you I know we vdll be cap- 
tured.' I said to him, 'I am surprised to hear a man of your 
intelligence express yourself in that way. What has the dog 
to do with the safety of the ship? I am ashamed of you.' 
'Well, sir,' he replied, 'you may call it superstition, or any- 


thing you please, but as sure as you leave the ship and take 
"Tinker" with you we will be captured.' After considerable 
persuasion he consented, very unwillingly, to go, saying, 
'I'll go in the ship to please you, sir, but, I know how 
it will be.' The ship was captured ; and when we met again 
his first words were : 'I told you so, sir.' 

"I had with me as chief officer an Englishman, who was a 
very intelligent shipmaster. He was promoted to command, 
and when about to try his luck, came to me, saying, 'Captain, 
let me have "Tinker" just for one trip and here is five hun- 
dred dollars in gold.' I said, 'Green, two fools, you and I' ; 
but I did not let him have the dog. I could relate a great 
number of incidents to illustrate the value placed upon 
'Tinker' by blockade runners, but I'll inflict only one more 
upon you. 

"I sailed for Wilmington from Bermuda in the steamship 
Rattlesnake about the 20th of January, 1865. Eight hours 
after I left Bermuda, Captain Maffitt,in command of the Owl, 
arrived at Nassau with the news that the forts at the mouth 
of the Cape Fear River had fallen. My friends at the island 
thought I was sure to be captured. Col. James Crenshaw, 
who before the war was a criminal lawyer, practicing in 
Richmond, and at this time was part owner and agent of our 
ships at the islands, had been a sailor in his young days, and 
certainly not an ignorant one. When told of the great 
danger of capture to which we were exposed, he told my 
wife to make herself easy, as I had 'Tinker' with me, and I 
was all right. Upon approaching Nassau a few days after- 
wards he, pointing to my flag, said: 'There is the Rattle- 
snake; didn't I tell you so V I was lying at anchor in the 
harbor. I think this was the last attempt made to get into 
Wilmington, and an account of it may interest you. 

"We reached the coast early in the night, in fact before it 
was yet dark, but quite hazy ; so much so that we could not 
see a ship any distance, when suddenly I found myself sur- 
rounded by a great number of lights. When you remember 
that the ships of the blockade squadrons were always in dark- 


ness, witli no lights set, you can imagine my surprise. Pro- 
ceeding toward the entrance we found our passage almost ob- 
structed by the enemy's ships, they were so many, and 
stranger than all, not a shot fired at us, and no one demanding 
that we either 'stop that ship, or he'd blow us out of the 
water.' We approached Fort Fisher near enough to call the 
sigTial ofiicer, who responded instantly. I remarked to my 
signal officer : '^There is something up, I never had so prompt 
an answer before ; they are on the alert tonight.' 

"We reported : 'Steamship Rattlesnake, bound in, set range 
lights.' An answer came as quick as thought: 'AH right, 
the lights will be set.' We signaled our respects to Colonel 
Lamb, and asked about his health. The answer was: 'The 
Colonel is quite well. (He was then lying dangerously 
wounded). How are all on board, and what is the news 
from Bermuda ?' I instructed the officer to amuse himself 
talking to them, and that I was going aloft, which I did, and 
as I reached the masthead and could look over the low sand 
hills which line the ISTorth Carolina coast, I could see the 
camp fires of the armies, and decided that either there had 
been an attack on Fort Fisher, or there soon would be one. 
Upon reaching the deck I said to the pilot: 'The tide is 
falling, and I think we will not take the risk on a falling tide. 
I will wait until the flood tide makes, and go in just before 
daylight. I remained among the fleet the best part of the 
night. I counted seven monitors ; we came very near collid- 
ing with three of them, and not a word was said and not a 
shot was fired. I concluded that we had met with a very 
cool reception, and it was not a healthy place for us just then ; 
so, at 2 a. m., I shaped our course for JSTassau. When, upon 
arrival there, I asked the pilot what was the news from Wil- 
mington, he answered: 'Wilmington has gone up the spout, 
sir.' I learned afterwards that several ships had gone in and 
congratulated themselves upon getting in so easily; but to 
their dismay, when the boarding officer came on board, he 
wore the blue instead of the gray. At the fall of Fort 
Fisher our signal-book fell into the hands of the enemy, and 


all that was necessary was to draw the ships in and take pos- 
session, which accounted for our not being shot at. 

"Aiter the surrender, on mj way to England, I buried my 
faithful 'Tinker' among the icebergs of the N'orth Atlantic, 
and every man on board stood with uncovered head when he 
was consigned to his watery grave. When blockade running 
ceased, his spirits drooped, his occupation gone, and he soon 
sickened and died. 

"His master felt much the same way, but survived. It was 
one of the saddest moments of my life. The Confederacy, of 
whose success I had never lost hope, no longer in existence ; 
leaving my native land, as I then thought never more to 
return. I felt that all the ties that I had formed during my 
childhood and youth were become mere memories; that all 
the fast friends that I had made during our bitter fight, were 
to be only as some much-loved hero of a favorite novel, with 
whom we become very familiar until the tale is all told, and 
who then passes out of mind and is never heard of more. But 
it was ordained otherwise, and I am happy now to be in my 
old home, meeting everywhere men whose sympathies in that 
grand struggle were the same as my own, and who feel as 
I do, that though our fighting days are over, the memory of 
our dead comrades is strong enough to bind us to each other 
until we all shall be called away to join them in the land of 
eternal peace." 


Several large and important shipping firms in Liverpool 
were interested in blockade running at Wilmington, and 
each of these houses owned and operated from five to ten of 
the most successful boats. 

A young gentleman, Thomas E. Taylor, scarcely twenty- 
one years of age, was sent out from England to represent a 
firm which ultimately designed and ran some of the finest 
ships engaged in this perilous, though profitable business ; 
but it may be doubted if the company with whom he was 
associated or any other owuers realized, in the end, large 


profits on their ventures, because, while the returns were 
very large under favorable conditions, the frequent losses by 
capture and the final fall of the Confederacy, which left 
them with ships unsalable for ordinary trade, so reduced their 
earnings that the game was scarcely worth the candle. 

In 1896 Mr. Taylor published a most readable book en- 
titled Running the Blockade, in which he tells most graphi- 
cally some of his extraordinary experiences. He was much 
liked by all who were fortunate enough to know him, and I 
well remember his genial, happy spirits and his masterful 
leadership into danger when duty called him in the interest 
of his employers. I quote from his narrative an exciting 
incident which made a sensation in blockade running circles 
at the time : 

"The reason for my leaving the Banshee was the arrival 
at iNTassau of a new steamer which my firm had sent out to 
me. This was the Will-o'-the-Wisp, and great things were ex- 
pected from her. She was built on the Clyde and was a 
much larger and faster boat than the Banshee, but shame- 
fully put together and most fragile. My first introduction 
to her was seeing her appear off jSTassau, and receiving a 
message by the pilot-boat from Capper, the captain, to say 
that the vessel was leaking badly and he dare not stop his 
engines, as they had to be kept going in order to work the 
pumps. We brought her into the harbor, and having beached 
her and afterwards made all necessary repairs on the slip- 
way, I decided to take a trip in her. 

"As soon as the nights were sufficiently dark we made a 
start for Wilmington, unfortunately meeting very bad wea- 
ther and strong head winds, which delayed us ; the result was 
that instead of making out the blockading fleet about mid- 
night, as we had intended, when dawn was breaking there 
were still no signs of them. Capper, the chief engineer, and 
I then held a hurried consultation as to what we had better 
do. Capper was for going to sea again, and if necessary re- 
turning to Nassau; the weather was still threatening, our 
coal supply running short, and, with a leaky ship beneath us, 


the engineer and I decided that the lesser risk would be to 
make a dash for it. 'All right/ said Capper. "We'll go on, 
but you'll get d d well peppered !' 

"We steamed cautiously on, making as little smoke as pos- 
sible, whilst I went to the masthead to take a look around; 
no land was in sight, but I could make out in the dull morn- 
ing light the heavy spars of the blockading flagship right 
ahead of us, and soon after several other masts became visible 
on each side of her. Picking out what appeared to me to be 
the widest space between these, I signaled to the deck how 
to steer, and we went steadily on — determined when we 
found we were perceived to make a rush for it. No doubt 
our very audacity helped us through, as for some time they 
took no notice, evidently thinking we were one of their own 
chasers returning from sea to take up her station for the 

"At last, to my great relief, I saw Fort Fisher just ap- 
jDearing above the horizon, although we knew that the per- 
ilous passage between these blockaders must be made before 
we could come under the friendly protection of its guns. 
Suddenly we became aware that our enemy had found us 
out ; we saw two cruisers steaming towards one another from 
either side of us, so as to intercept us at a given point before 
we could get on the land side of them. It now became simply 
a question of speed and immunity from being sunk by shot. 
Our little vessel quivered under the tremendous pressure 
with which she was being driven through the water. 

"An exciting time followed, as we and our two enemies 
rapidly converged upon one point, other ships in the dis- 
tance also hurrying up to assist them. We were now near 
enough to be within range, and the cruiser on our port side 
opened fire; his first shot carried away our flagstaff aft, on 
which our ensign had just been hoisted; his second tore 
through our forehold, bulging out a plate on the opposite side. 
Bedding and blankets to stop the leak were at once requisi- 
tioned, and we steamed on full speed under a heavy fire from 
both quarters. Suddenly, puffs of smoke from the fort 


showed us that Colonel Lamb, the commandant, was aware 
of what was going on and was firing to protect us ; a welcome 
proof that we were drawing within range of his guns and on 
the landside of our pursuers, who, after giving us a few more 
parting shots, hauled off and steamed away from within reach 
of the shells, which we were rejoiced to see falling thickly 
around them. 

"We had passed through a most thrilling experience; at 
one time the cruiser on our port side was only a hundred 
yards away from us with her consort a hundred and fifty on 
the starboard, and it seemed a miracle that their double fire 
did not completely sink us. It certainly required all one's 
nerve to stand upon the paddle-box, looking without flinching 
almost into the muzzles of the guns which were being fired 
at us ; and proud we were of our crew, not a man of whom 
showed the white feather. Our pilot, who showed no lack 
of courage at the time, became, however, terribly excited as 
we neared the bar, and whether it was that the ship steered 
badly, owing to being submerged forward or from some mis- 
take, he ran her ashore whilst going at full speed. The re- 
sult was a most frightful shaking, which of course materially 
increased the leaks, and we feared the ship would become a 
total wreck; fortunately the tide was rising, and, through 
lightening her by throwing some of the cargo overboard, we 
succeeded in getting her off and steamed up the river to 
Wilmington, where we placed her on the mud. 

"After repairing the shot holes and other damage, we were 
under the impression that no further harm from running 
ashore had come to her, as all leaks were apparently stopped 
and the ship was quite tight. The result proved us to be 
sadly wrong on this point. After loading our usual cargo 
we started down the river all right, and waited for nightfall 
in order to cross the bar and run through the fleet. N"o sooner 
had we crossed it and found ourselves surrounded by cruisers 
than the chief engineer rushed on to the bridge, saying the 
water was already over the stoke-hole plates, and he feared 
that the ship was sinking. At the same moment a quantity 


of firewood which was stowed around one of the funnels (and 
which was intended to eke out our somewhat scanty coal 
supply) caught fire, and fiames burst out. 

"This placed us in a pretty predicament, as it showed our 
whereabouts to the two cruisers which were following us, one 
on each quarter. They at once opened a furious cannonade 
upon us; however, although shells were bursting all around 
and shot flying over us, all hands worked with a will, and we 
soon extinguished the flames, which were acting as a treach- 
erous beacon to our foes. Fortunately, the night was in- 
tensely dark and nothing could be seen beyond a radius of 
thirty or forty yards, so, thanks to this, we were soon enabled, 
by altering our helm, to give our pursuers the slip whilst they 
probably kept on their course. 

"We had still the other enemy to deal with ; but our chief 
engineer and his staif had meanwhile been hard at work and 
had turned on the 'bilge-injection' and 'donkey-pumps.' 
Still, the leak was gaining upon us, and it became evident 
that the severe shaking which the ship got when run aground 
had started the plates in her bottom. The mud had been 
sucked up when she lay in the river at Wilmington, thus 
temporarily repairing the damage ; but when she got into the 
sea-way the action of the water opened them again. Even 
the steam pumps now could not prevent the water from gTadu- 
ally increasing; four of our eight furnaces were extin- 
guished, and the firemen were working up to their middles 
in water. 

"It was a critical time when daylight broke, dull and 
threatening. The captain was at the wheel and I at the 
masthead (all other hands being employed at the pumps, and 
even baling), when, not four miles off, I sighted a cruiser 
broadside on. She turned around as if preparing to give 
chase, and I thought we were done for, as we could not have 
got more than three or four knots an hour out of our crippled 
boat. To my great joy, however, I found our alarm was 
needless, for she evidently had not seen us, and, instead of 


heading, turned her stern towards us and disappeared into a 
thick bank of clouds. 

"Still we were far from being out of danger, as the weather 
became worse and worse and the wind increased in force 
until it was blowing almost a gale. Things began to look as 
ugly as they could, and even Capper lost hope. I shall 
never forget the expression on his face as he came up to me 
and said, in his gruff voice, 'I say, Mr. Taylor, the beggar's 
going, the beggar's going,' pointing vehemently downwards. 
'What the devil do you mean!' I exclaimed. 'Why, we are 
going to lose the ship and our lives, too,' was the answer. It is 
not possible for any one unacquainted with Capper to appre- 
ciate this scene. Sturdy, thickset, nearly as broad as he was 
long, and with the gruffest manner but kindest heart, although 
a rough diamond, and absolutely without fear. With the ex- 
ception of Steele, he was the best blockade running captain 
we had. 

"In order to save the steamer and our lives we decided 
that desperate remedies must be resorted to, so again the un- 
lucky deck cargo had to be sacrified. The good effect of this 
was soon visible; we began to gain on the water, and were 
able, by degrees, to re-light our extinguished fires. But the 
struggle continued to be a most severe one, for just when we 
began to obtain a mastery over the water the donkey-engine 
broke down, and before we could repair it the water increased 
sensibly, nearly putting out our fires again. So the struggle 
went on for sixty hours, when we were truly thankful to steam 
into Nassau harbor and beach the ship. It was a very 
narrow escape, for within twenty minutes after stopping her 
engines the vessel had sunk to the level of the water. 

"I had the Will-o'-the-Wisp raised, hauled up on the slip, 
and repaired at an enormous expense before she was fit again 
for sea. Subsequently she made several trips, but as I found 
her a constant source of delay and expenditure I decided to 
sell her. After having her cobbled up with plenty of putty 
and paint, I was fortunate enough to obtain negotiations with 
some speculators with a view to her purchase. Having set- 


tied all preliminaries, we arranged for a trial trip, and after 
a very sumptuous lunch, I proceeded to run her over a meas- 
ured mile for the benefit of the would-be purchasers. I 
need scarcely mention that we subjected her machinery to 
the utmost strain, bottling up steam to a pressure of which 
our present Board of Trade, with its motherly care of our 
lives, would express strong disapproval. The log line was 
whisked merrily over the stern of the Will-o'-the-Wisp, with 
the satisfactory result that she logged 17 1-2 knots. The 
speculators were delighted, so was I ; and the bargain was 
clinched. I fear, however, that their joy was short-lived ; a 
few weeks afterwards when attempting to steam into Galves- 
ton she was run ashore and destroyed by the Federals. When 
we ran into that port a few months afterwards in the second 
Banshee we saw her old bones on the beach. 

"After this I made a trip in a new boat that had just been 
sent out to me, the Wild Dayrell. And a beauty she was, 
very strong, a perfect sea-boat, and remarkably well en- 

"Our voyage in was somewhat exciting, as about three 
o'clock in the afternoon, while making for the Fort Caswell 
entrance (not Fort Fisher), we were sighted by a Federal 
cruiser, who immediately gave chase. We soon found, how- 
ever, that we had the heels of our friend, but it left us the 
alternative of going out to sea or being chased straight into 
the jaws of the blockaders off the bar before darkness came 
on. Under these circumstances what course to take was a 
delicate point to decide, but we solved the problem by slowing 
down just sufficiently to keep a few miles ahead of our 
chaser, hoping that darkness would come on before we made 
the fleet or they discovered us. Just as twilight was draw- 
ing in we made them out; cautiously we crept on, feeling 
certain that our friend astern was rapidly closing up on us. 
Every moment we expected to hear shot whistling around us. 
So plainly could we see the sleepy blockaders that it seemed 
almost impossible we should escape their notice. Whether 
they did not expect a runner to make an attempt so early in 


the evening, or whether it was sheer good luck on our part, 
I know not, bnt we ran through the lot without being seen or 
without having a shot fired at us. 

''Our anxieties, however, were not yet over, as our pilot, 
(a new hand) lost his reckoning and put us ashore on the 
bar. Fortunately, the flood tide was rising fast, and we re- 
floated, bumping over stern first in a most inglorious fashion, 
and anchored off Fort Caswell before 7 p. m. — a record per- 

"Soon after anchoring and while enjoying the usual cock- 
tail, we saw a great commotion among the blockaders, who 
were throwing up rockets and flashing lights, evidently in 
answer to signals from the cruiser which had so nearly chased 
us into their midst. 

"When we came out we met with equally good luck, as 
the night was pitch dark and the weather very squally. ISTo 
sooner did we clear the bar than we put our helm aport, ran 
down the coast, and then stood boldly straight out to sea with- 
out interference; and it was perhaps as well we had such 
good fortune, as before this I had discovered that our pilot 
was of a very indifferent calibre, and that courage was not 
our captain's most prominent characteristic. The poor Wild 
Dayrell deserved a better commander, and consequently a 
better fate than befell her. She was lost on her second trip, 
entirely through the want of pluck on the part of her captain, 
who ran her ashore some miles to the north of Fort Fisher ; 
he said in order to avoid capture — to my mind a fatal 
excuse for any blockade rimning captain to make. 'Twere 
far better to be sunk by shot, and escape in the boats if possi- 
ble. I am quite certain that if Steele had commanded her on 
that trip she would never have been put ashore, and the 
chances were that she would have come through all right. 

"I never forgave myself for not unshipping the captain on 
my return to :N'assau ; my only excuse was that there was no 
good man available to replace him, and he was a particular 
protege of my chief's. But such considerations should not 
have weighed, and if I had had the courage of my convic- 


tions it is probable the Wild Dayrell would have proved as 
successful as any of our steamers. 

"About this time I had tvs^o other new boats sent out, the 
Stormy Petrel and the Wild Rover, both good boats, very 
fast, and distinct improvements on the Banshee No. 1 and the 
Will-o'-the-Wisp. The Stormy Petrel had, however, very bad 
luck, as, after getting safely in and anchoring behind Fort 
Fisher, she settled, as the tide went down, on a submerged 
anchor, the fluke of which went through her bottom, and de- 
spite all efforts she became a total wreck ; this was one of the 
most serious and unlucky losses I had. The Wild Rover 
was more successful, as she made five round trips, on one of 
which I went in her. She survived the war, and I eventually 
sent her to South America, where she was sold for a good 

"We had in the early part of the war a depot at Bermuda 
as well as at J^assau, and Frank Hurst was at that time my 
brother agent there. I went there twice, once in the first 
Banshee, and once from Halifax, after a trip to Canada in 
order to recruit from a bad attack of yellow fever; but I 
never liked Bermuda, and later on we transferred Hurst and 
his agency to Nassau, which was more convenient in many 
ways and nearer Wilmington. Moreover, I had to face the 
contingency, which afterwards occurred, of the Atlantic ports 
being closed and our being driven to the Gulf. The Bermu- 
dians, however, were a kind, hospitable lot, and made a gi'eat 
deal of us, and there was a much larger naval and military 
society stationed there than in Nassau. They had suffered 
from a severe outbreak of yellow fever, and the Third Buffs, 
who were in garrison at the time, had been almost decimated 
by it. 

"It was on my second trip to the island that one of the 
finest boats we ever possessed, the Night Ro/wh, came out, 
and I concluded to run in with her. She was a new side- wheel 
steamer of some 600 tons gross, rigged as a fore-and-aft 
schooner, with two funnels, 220 feet long, 21 1-2 feet beam, 
and 11 feet in depth ; a capital boat for the work, fast, sti-ong. 


of light draught, and a splendid sea boat — a great merit in a 
blockade runner that sometimes has to be forced in all weath- 
ers. The Night Hawk's career was a very eventful one, and 
she passed an unusually lively night off Fort Fisher on her 
first attempt at blockade running. 

"Soon after getting under way our troubles began. We 
ran ashore outside Hamilton, one of the harbors of Bermuda, 
and hung on a coral reef for a couple of hours. There loomed 
before us the dismal prospect of delay for repairs, or, still 
worse, the chance of springing a leak and experiencing such 
difficulties and dangers as we had undergone on the Will-o'- 
the-Wisp, but fortunately we came off without damage and 
were able to proceed on our voyage. 

"Another anxiety now engrossed my mind : the captain 
was an entirely new hand, and nearly all the crew were green 
at the work; moreover, the Wilming-ton pilot was quite un- 
known to me, and I could see from the outset that he was 
very nervous and wanting in confidence. What would I not 
have given for our trusty pilot, Tom Burriss. However, we 
had to make the best of it, as, owing to the demand, the supply 
of competent pilots was not nearly sufficient, and towards the 
close of the blockade the so-called pilots were no more than 
boatmen or men who had been trading in and out of Wilming- 
ton or Charleston in coasters. Notwithstanding my fears, 
all went well on the way across, and the Night HawJc proved 
to be everything that could be desired in speed and seaworthi- 

''We had sighted unusually few craft, and nothing event- 
ful occurred until the third night. Soon after midnight we 
found ourselves uncomfortably near a large vessel. It was 
evident that we had been seen, as we heard them beating to 
quarters, and we were hailed. We promptly sheered off and 
went full speed ahead, greeted by a broadside which went 
across our stern. 

"When we arrived within striking distance of Wilmington 
bar the pilot was anxious to go in by Smith's Inlet, but as he 



acknowledged that lie knew very little about it, I concluded 
it was better to keep to the New Inlet passage, where, at 
all events, we should have the advantage of our good friend 
Lamb to protect us; and I felt that as I myself knew the 
place so well, this was the safest course to pursue. We were 
comparatively well through the fleet, although heavily fired 
at, and arrived near to the bar, passing close by two Northern 
launches which were lying almost uj^on it Unfortunately it 
was dead low water, and although I pressed our pilot to give 
our boat a turn around, keeping under way, and to wait 
awhile until the tide made, he was so demoralized by the 
firing we had gone through and the nearness of the launches, 
which were constantly throwing up rockets, that he insisted 
upon putting her at the bar, and, as I feared, we grounded 
on it forward, and with the strong floodtide, quickly broached- 
to, broadside on to the northern breakers. We kept our en- 
gines going for some time, but to no purpose, as we found we 
were only being forced by the tide more on to the breakers. 
Therefore, we stopped, and all at once found our friends, the 
two launches, close aboard ; they had discovered we were 
ashore, and had made up their minds to attack us. 

"At once all was in confusion; the pilot and signalman 
rushed to the dinghy, lowered it, and made good their es- 
cape; the captain lost his head and disappeared; and the 
crews of the launches, after firing several volleys, one of which 
slightly wounded me, rowed in to board us on each sponson. 
Just at this moment, I suddenly recollected that our private 
dispatches, which ought to have been thrown overboard, were 
still in the starboard lifeboat. I rushed to it, but found the 
lanyard to which the sinking weight was attached was foul of 
one of the thwarts ; I tugged and tugged, but to no purpose, so 
I sung out for a knife, which was handed to me by a fireman, 
and I cut the line and pitched the line overboard as the 
Northerners jumped on board. Eighteen months after- 
wards that fireman accosted me in the Liverpool streets, say- 
ing, 'Mr. Taylor, do you remember my lending you a knife V 
'Of course I do,' I replied, giving him a tip, at which he was 


mightily pleased. Poor fellow ! he had been thirteen months 
in a JSTorthern prison. 

"When the ISTortheruers jumped on board they were ter- 
ribly excited. I don't know whether they expected resistance 
or not, but they acted more like maniacs than sane men, firing 
their revolvers and cutting right and left with their cutlasses. 
I stood in front of the men on the poop and said that we sur- 
rendered, but all the reply I received from the lieutenant 
commanding was, 'Oh, you surrender, do you?' * * * 
accompanied by a string of the choicest Yankee oaths and 
sundry reflections upon my parentage; whereupon he fired 
his revolver twice point-blank at me not two yards distant. 
It was a miracle he did not kill me, as I heard the bullets 
whiz past my head. This roused my wrath, and I exjDostu- 
lated in the strongest terms upon his firing upon unarmed 
men ; he then cooled down, giving me into the charge of two 
of his men, one of whom speedily possessed himself of my 
binoculars. Fortunately, as I had no guard to my watch, 
they didn't discover it, and I have it still. 

"Finding they could not get the ship oif, and afraid, I pre- 
sume, of Lamb and his men coming to our rescue, the Fed- 
erals commenced putting the captain (who had been discov- 
ered behind a boat!) and the crew into the boats; they then 
set the ship on fire fore and aft, and she soon began to blaze 
merrily. At this moment one of our firemen, an Irishman, 
sang out, 'Begorra, we shall all be in the air in a minute, the 
ship is full of gunpowder!' ISTo sooner did the ISTorthern 
sailors hear this than a panic seized them, and they rushed 
to their boats, threatening to leave their officers behind if 
they did not come along. The men who were holding me 
dropped me like a hot potato, and to my great delight jumped 
into their boat, and away they rowed as fast as they could, 
taking all our crew, with the exception of the second officer, 
one of the engineers, four seamen, and myself, as prisoners. 

"We chuckled at our lucky escape, but we were not out of 
the woods, yet, as we had only a boat half stove in in which to 
reach the shore through some 300 yards of surf, and we were 


afraid at any moment that our enemies, finding there was no 
gunpowder on board, might return. We made a feeble effort 
to put the fire out, but it had gained too much headway, and 
although I offered the men with me £50 apiece to staud by 
me and persevere, they were too demoralized and began 
to lower the shattered boat, swearing that they would leave 
me behind if I didn't come with them. There was nothing 
for it but to go, yet the passage through the boiling surf 
seemed more dangerous to my mind than remaining on the 
burning ship. The blockaders immediately opened fire when 
they knew their own men had left the Night Hawh, and that 
she was burning; and Lamb's great shells hurtling over our 
heads and those from the blockading fleet bursting all around 
us formed a weird picture. In spite of the hail of shot and 
shell and the dangers of the boiling surf, we reached the 
shore in safety, wet through, and glad I was in my state of 
exhaustion from loss of blood and fatigue to be welcomed 
by Lamb's orderly officer. 

"The poor Night Hawh was now a sheet of flame, and I 
thought it was all up with her; and indeed it would have 
been had it not been for Lamb, who, calling for volunteers 
from his garrison, sent out two or three boatloads of men to 
her, and when I came down to the beach, after having my 
wound dressed and after a short rest, I was delighted to find 
the fire had sensibly decreased. I went on board, and after 
some hours of hard work the fire was extinguished. But what 
a wreck she was ! 

"Luckily, with the rising tide she had bumped over the 
bank, and was now lying on the main beach much more ac- 
cessible and sheltered. Still, it seemed an almost hopeless 
task to save her ; but we were not going to be beaten without 
a try, so, after having ascertained how she lay and the condi- 
tion she was in, I resolved to make an attempt to get her dry, 
and telegraphed to Wilmington for assistance. 

"Our agent sent me down about 300 negroes to assist in 
bailing and pumping, and I set them to work at once. As 
good luck would have it, my finest steamer, Banshee No. 2, 


wHch had just been sent out, ran in the next night. She 
was a great improvement on the first Banshee, having a sea 
speed of 15 1-2 knots, which was considered very fast in 
those days; her length was 252 feet, beam 31 feet, depth 11 
feet, her registered tonnage 439 tons, and her crew consisted 
of fifty-three men in all. I at once requisitioned her for aid 
in the shape of engineers and men, so that now I had every- 
thing I could want in the way of hands. Our great difiiculty 
was that the Night Haw¥s anchors would not hold for us to 
get a fair haul at her. 

"But here again I was to be in luck. For the very next 
night the Condor, commanded by poor Hewitt, in attempting 
to run in stuck fast upon the bank over which we had bumped, 
not one hundred yards to windward of us, and broke in two. 
It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, and Hewitt's mis- 
chance proved the saving of our ship. Now we had a hold 
for our chain cables by making them fast to the wreck, and 
were able gradually to haul her off by them a little during 
each tide, until on the seventh day we had her afloat in a gut 
between the bank and the shore, and at high water we steamed 
under our own steam gaily up the river to Wilmington. 

"Considering the appliances we had and the circumstances 
under which we were working, the saving of that steamer 
was certainly a wonderful performance, as we were under fire 
almost the whole time. The ll^J^ortherners, irritated, no doubt, 
by their failure to destroy the ship, used to shell us by day 
and send in boats by night ; Lamb, however, put a stop to the 
latter annoyance by lending us a couple of companies to de- 
fend us, and one night when our enemies rowed close up with 
the intention of boarding us, they were glad to sheer off with 
the loss of a lieutenant and several men. In spite of all the 
shot and shell by day and the repeated attacks at night, we 
triumphed in the end, and, after having the Night Hawh 
repaired at heavy cost and getting together a crew, I gave 
May, a friend of mine, command of her, and he ran out suc- 
cessfully with a valuable cargo which made her pay, notwith- 
standing all her bad luck and the amount spent upon her. 


Poor Maj, he was afterwards Governor of Perth gaol, and is 
dead now — a high-toned, sensitive gentleman, mighty proud 
of his ship, lame duck as she was. 

"When she was burning, our utmost efforts were of course 
directed towards keeping her engine-room and boilers amid- 
ships intact, and confining the flames to both ends ; in this we 
were successful, mainly owing to the fact of her having bunk- 
ers athwart-ship ; but as regards the rest of the steamer she 
was a complete wreck ; her sides were all corrugated with the 
heat, and her stern so twisted that her starboard quarter was 
some two feet higher than her port quarter, and not a particle 
of woodwork was left unconsumed. Owing to the limited 
resources of Wilmington as regards repairs, I found it im- 
possible to have all of this put right, so her sides were left as 
they were, and the new deck put on with the slope I have 
described, and caulked with cotton, as no oakum was procura- 
ble. When completed she certainly was a queer-looking craft, 
but as tight as a bottle, and as seaworthy as ever, although 
I doubt if any Lloyd's surveyor would have passed her. But 
as a matter of fact she came across the Atlantic, deeply im- 
mersed with her coal supply, through some very bad weather, 
without damage, and was sold for a mere song, to be repaired 
and made into a passenger boat for service on the East Coast, 
where she ran for many years with success. 

"It had been a hard week for me, as I had no clothes ex- 
cept what I had on when we were boarded — my servant very 
cleverly, as he imagined, having thrown my portmanteau into 
the man-of-war's boat when he thought I was going to be cap- 
tured — and all I had in the world was the old serge suit in 
which I stood. Being without a change and wet through 
every day and night for six days consecutively, it is little 
wonder that I caught fever and ague, of which I nearly died 
in Eichmond, and which distressing complaint stuck to me 
for more than eighteen months. I shall never forget, on going 
to a store in Wilmington for a new rig-out (which by the way 
cost $1,200), the look of horror on the storekeeper's face 
when I told him the coat I had purchased would do if he cut a 
foot off it ; he thought it such a waste of expensive material." 



We found at the shipyard in Wilmington, while the Lilian 
was undergoing repairs, the noted blockade runner Lynx, 
commanded by one of the most daring spirits in the service, 
Captain Reed. This officer has been described in a IN'orthern 
magazine as a priate, but he was one of the mildest mannered 
of gentlemen, a capital seaman, and apparently entirely de- 
void of fear. He had previously commanded the Gibraltar, 
formerly the first Confederate cruiser Sumter; and he 
brought through the blockade in this ship to Wilmington the 
two enormous g-uns which attracted so much attention at that 
time. One of them exploded, through a fault in loading ; the 
other was used for the defense of Charleston, and rendered 
effective service. 

A thrilling incident occurred in the destruction of the 
Lynx, a few weeks after we left her at Wilmington, which 
nearly terminated the life of a brave and charming lady, the 
wife of Mr. Louis H. DeRosset, and of her infant child, who 
were passengers for Nassau. At half past seven o'clock on 
the evening of September 26, 1864, the Lynx attempted to 
run the blockade at 'New Inlet, but was immediately discov- 
ered in the Swash Channel by the Federal cruiser Niphon, 
which fired several broadsides into her at short range, nearly 
every shot striking her hull and seriously disabling her. K'ot- 
withstanding this, Captain Reed continued his efforts to es- 
cape, and for a short time was slipping away from his pur- 
suers ; but he was again intercepted by two Federal men-of- 
war, the Howquah and the Governor Buckingham. 

Mrs. DeRosset, describing the scene a few days afterwards, 
said: "Immediately the sky was illuminated with rockets 
and broadside upon broadside, volley upon volley, was poured 
upon us. The Captain put me in the wheelhouse for safety. 
I had scarcely taken my seat when a ball passed three inches 
above my head, wounding the man at the wheel next to me; 
a large piece of the wheelhouse knocked me violently on the 
head. I flew to the cabin and took my baby in my arms, and 


immediately anotlier ball passed through the cabin. We came 
so near one of the enemy's boats that they fired a round of 
musketry, and demanded surrender. We passed them like 
lightning; then our vessel commenced sinking! Eight shots 
went through and through below the water line. I stayed in 
the cabin until I could no longer keep the baby out of the 

The Howquah then engaged the Lynx at close quarters, and 
her batteries tore away a large part of the paddle boxes and 
bridge deck. The Buckingham also attacked the plucky block- 
ade runner at so short range that her commander fired all 
the charges from his revolver at Captain Reed and his pilot 
on the bridge. The continual flashing of the guns brightly 
illuminated the chase, and, escape being impossible. Captain 
Reed, much concerned for the safety of his passengers, headed 
his sinking ship for the beach. In the meantime Fort Fisher 
was firing upon his pursuers with deadly effect, killing and 
wounding five men on the Howquah and disabling one of the 
guns. The sea was very rough that night, and the treacherous 
breakers with their deafening roar afforded little hope of 
landing a woman and a baby through the surf ; nevertheless, 
it was the onty alternative, and right bravely did the heroine 
meet it. Through the breakers the Lynx was driven to her 
destruction, the shock, as her keel struck the bottom, sending 
her crew headlong on the deck. Boats were lowered with great 
difficulty, the sea dashing over the bulwarks and drenching 
the sailors to the point of strangulation. Madame DeRosset, 
with the utmost coolness, watched her chance, while the boat 
lurched and pounded against the stranded ship, and jumped 
to her place ; the baby, wrapped in a blanket, was tossed from 
the deck to her mother ten feet below, and then the fight for 
a landing began ; while the whole crew, forgetful of their ovm 
danger, and inspired with courage by the brave lady's exam- 
ple, joined in three hearty cheers as she disappeared in the 
darkness towards the shore. Under the later glare of the 
burning ship, which was set on fire when abandoned, a safe 
landing was effected, but with great suffering. Soaking wet. 


without food or drink, tliej remained on the beach until a 
message could reach Colonel Lamb at Fort Fisher, five miles 
distant, whence an ambulance was sent to carry the passen- 
gers twenty miles up to Wilmington. The baby blockade 
runner, Gabrielle, survived this perilous adventure, and also 
an exciting run through the fleet in the Confederate steamer 
Owl. She is now the widow of the late Col. Alfred Moore 
Waddell, formerly mayor of Wilmington. 


The last year of the war evolved a superior type of blockade 
runners of great speed, many of which were commanded by 
celebrated men of nerve and experience. Of these may be 
mentioned at random and from memory : the Lilian, Captain 
Maffitt ; the Little Hattie, Captain Lebby ; the Florie, named 
for Captain Maffitt's daughter; the Agnes E. Fry, com- 
manded by that noble but unfortunate naval officer. Captain 
Joseph Fry ; the Chicora, still running in Canadian waters ; 
the Let Her Rip, the Let Her Be; also the fleet of three-funnel 
boats, one of which, the Condor, was commanded by the fa- 
mous Admiral Hewitt, of the British l^avy, who won the 
Victoria Cross in the Crimea, and who was knighted by Queen 
Victoria for his distinguished services as Ambassador to 
King John of Abyssinia. The Falcon, another, was com- 
manded for one voyage by Hobart Pasha ; the Flamingo, the 
Ptarmigan, and the Vulture were also of the three-funnel 

Another notable British officer who ran the blockade was 
the gallant Burgoyne, who was lost in the iron-clad Captain 
in the Bay of Biscay, which vessel he commanded on that un- 
fortunate voyage. 

Captain Carter was a notable naval officer of the Confed- 
eracy ; he commanded the blockade runner Coquette. 

Captain Thomas Lockwood, a JSTorth Carolinian, was, per- 
haps, the most noted of the commercial class. His last com- 


mand was the celebrated steamer Colonel Lamb, named for 
the defender of Fort Fisher. This was the largest, the finest, 
and the fastest of all the ships on either side during the war. 
She was a paddle steamer built of steel, 281 feet long, 36 
feet beam, and 15 feet depth of hold. Her tonage was 1,788 
tons. At the time she was built, 1864, she was the fastest 
vessel afloat, having attained on her trial a speed of 16f knots, 
or about nineteen miles an hour. Captain Lockwood made 
several successful runs in this fine ship, and escaped to Eng- 
land at the close of the war. The Colonel Lamb was sold to 
the Greek Government, and subsequently, under another 
name, was blown up while in the Mersey loaded with war 
supplies. Other fast boats were the Owl, Bat, Fox, Dream, 
Stag, Edith, Atalanta, Virginia, Charlotte, Banshee and 
Night Hawh. 

Another merchant commander of distinction was Captain 
Halpin, who was very skillful and successful. He after- 
wards commanded the famous leviathan, Great Eastern, 
while she was engaged in laying the Atlantic cable. 

It is a remarkable fact that although speed was regarded 
the first essential to success, some of the slowest vessels en- 
gaged in the traflic were the most fortunate. The Pet, for 
example, was a very slow steamer, yet she made the runs, 
over forty of them, through the blockade with the regularity 
of a mail boat. I think this was due to the superior skill of 
her commander who exercised great caution and never be- 
came excited in a tight place. The Antonica was another 
slow, lumbering boat, but it was said of her that when she 
was fairly set on her course between Nassau and Wilmington 
they could simply lash her wheel and she would go in or out 
"by herself." The Scotia, the Greyhound, and others were 
equally slow coaches, but had for a time, it seemed, a charmed 

The loss of the Merrimac was, like that of the Bat, as re- 
lated by Pilot Craig, a notable example of cowardice on the 
part of the captain. This fine, large steamer, which had 
successfully run into Wilmington, was ordered to be sold in 


this port, and she was bought hj a number of prominent citi- 
zens and merchants, one of whom was Mr. Edward Kidder. 
She was laden with a very valuable cargo of cotton and to- 
bacco and put to sea for Nassau. On the second day out she 
was chased, as they thought, by a cruiser which steadily 
gained on her, and when the stranger fired a small gun, the 
captain of the Merrimac ignomiuiously surrendered to an 
unarmed passenger steamer, whose little popgun, containing 
a blank cartridge used for signals in those days, would not 
have harmed a fly. This incident caused much merriment 
on board the passenger steamer, which profited largely in the 
prize money. 


In the second stage of blockade running, when steam was 
at a premium, a number of walking-beam boats of excellent 
speed, which had plied regailarly between Southern ports and 
which had been laid up since the proclamation, were bought 
by Southern business men, who became prominent in blockade 
running ; and, after the removal of passenger cabins and con- 
spicuous top hamper, they were placed in this dangerous 
traffic. Of these may be mentioned the steamer Kate, pre- 
viously known as the Carolina, upon the line between Charles- 
ton and Palatka ; the Gordon, which was built to run between 
Charleston and Savannah; also the Nina, Seahrooh, Clinch, 
and Cecile, which had plied on the same line. The Cecile, 
loaded at ISTassau with a cargo of powder, rifles, and 
stores for Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's army at Shiloh, 
struck a sunken rock off the Florida coast, and went to the 
bottom in ten minutes. The officers and crew escaped. 

Two steamers which formerly ran between 'New Orleans 
and Galveston became prominent as Cape Fear blockade run- 
ners; the Atlantic, re-named the JElizaheth, and the Austin^ 
which became the famous Confederate steamer Ella and 
Annie. In the early morning of November 9, 1863, the Ella 
and Annie, under command of Capt F. IST. Bonneau of 


Charleston, was intercepted off Xew Inlet, near Masonboro, 
bj the United States steamer Niplion, which attempted to 
press her ashore. Several other cruisers preventing the es- 
cape of the Ella and Annie, Captain Bonneau at once re- 
solved upon the desperate expedient of running the Niphon 
down. He accordingly ran his ship at reckless speed straight 
at the war vessel, and struck it with great force, carrying 
away the bowsprit and stem and wounding three of the men. 
The Niphon, by quick movement, avoided the full effect of 
the blow, and fired all her starboard guns into the Ella and 
Annie, wounding four of her men. As soon as the vessels 
came together the Niphon carried the Ella and Annie, by 
boarding, and made her a prize. She afterwards became the 
United States flag ship Malvern. 

The Govermor Dudley, of the Wilmington and Charleston 
route before the completion of the Wilmnigton and Man- 
chester Railroad, which had been put on the summer run 
between Charleston and Havana prior to the war, made one or 
two successful voyages through the blockade to [N'assau. 

A Nassau correspondent to the New York Times on Febru- 
ary 15, 1862, wrote: '-Qn Tuesday last, the 11th of Febru- 
ary, 1862, the old steamer Governor Dudley arrived from 
Charleston with 400 bales of cotton. The Captain, fearing 
the cotton would go ISTorth if sold here, refused to take any 
price for it. After taking out a British register and changing 
her name to the Nellie, he left for Havana with a l^assau 
pilot on board to carry him across the (Bahama) Banks. He 
intends taking a return cargo to Charleston, and expects to 
be back here in about a month with more cotton. The Nellie 
is an old boat, nearly used up both in hull and machinery. 
Her speed is not over 8 or 10 knots, with a full head of 
steam." The other boats formerly comprising the Wilming- 
ton and Charleston line were probably too old for blockade- 
running service. The Wilmington was sold to run on the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Gladiator went to Philadelphia, 
and the Vanderhilt, having been sold to New Orleans, found- 
ered in the Gulf of Mexico while runnino; the blockade. 


Another old friend of the ISTew York and Wilmington line, 
which was managed here bj the late Edwin A. Keith, the 
North Carolina, rendered an important service to the Con- 
federate Government by carrying through the blockade, as a 
passenger, the distinguished Capt. James D. Bulloch, naval 
representative of the Confederacy in Europe during the War 
between the States. On February 5, 1862, she completed the 
loading of a cargo of cotton, rosin, and tobacco at Wilmington, 
under her new name, Annie Childs, named for the wife of 
Col. F. L. Childs, and proceeded through the blockade by the 
main bar, arriving at Liverpool, via Fayal, Madeira, and 
Queenstown, Ireland, early in March. Her supply of coal 
was quite exhausted when she sighted Queenstown and she 
barely reached that port of call by burning part of her rosin 
cargo with spare spars cut in short lengths. Captain Bulloch 
said that she was badly found for so long a voyage, but she 
weathered a heavy northwest gale, and proved herself to be a 
fine sea boat. I am informed that she returned to other suc- 
cessful ventures in blockade running under the name of the 

The fleet of runners was augmented by old-fashioned 
steamers, partly from the IvTorthern ports, bought by foreign- 
ers and sent via neutral ports, where they went through the 
process of "white-washing," a change of name, ownership, 
registry, and flag. A much greater number, however, came 
from abroad ; a few of these formerly having been fast mail 
boats, but the majority freighters on short routes in Europe, 
bought at big prices for eager speculators, who were tempted 
by the enormous profits of blockade running. 

A few of those of the better class became famous, as the 
ISTorth Carolina steamer Advance, before known as the Lord 
Clyde; the Confederate steamer B. E. Lee, formerly the 
Giraffe; and the Lady Davis, previously the Comubia. 
Some of the others were the A lice, Fannie, Britannia, Emma, 
Pet, Sirius, Orion, Antonica, Hansa, Calypso, Duoro, This- 
tle, Scotia, City of Petersburg, Old Dominion, Index, Cale- 
donia, Dolphin, Georgiana McCall, Modern Greece, Hebe, 


Dee, Wave Queen, Granite City, Stonewall Jackson, Victory, 
Flora, Beauregard, Ruhy, Margaret and Jessie, Eagle, Ger- 
ti-ude, Charleston, Banshee, Minna, and Eugenie, which were 
more or less successful. 

The beach for miles north and south of Bald Head is 
marked still by the melancholy wrecks of swift and graceful 
steamers which had been employed in this perilous enter- 
prise. Some of the hundred vessels engaged in this traffic 
ran between Wilmington and the West Indies with the regu- 
larity of mail boats, and some, even of the slowest speed — 
the Pet, for instance — eluding the vigilance of the Federal 
fleet, passed unscathed twenty, thirty, and forty times, mak- 
ing millions for the fortunate owners. One little beauty, the 
Siren, a fast boat, numbered nearly fifty voyages. The suc- 
cess of these ships depended, of course, in gTeat measure upon 
the skill and coolness of their commanders and pilots. It is 
noteworthy that those in charge of Confederate naval officers 
were, with one exception, never taken; but many were cap- 
tured, sunk, and otherwise lost, through no fault of the brave 
fellows who commanded them. The Beauregard and the 
Yenus lie stranded on Carolina Beach; the Modern Greece, 
near ISTew Inlet; the Antonica, on Frying Pan Shoals; the 
Ella, on Bald Head ; the Spunky and the Georgiana McCall, 
on Caswell Beach ; the Hehe and the Dee, between Wrights- 
ville and Masonboro. Two others lie near Lockwood's FoUy 
bar; and others, whose names are forgotten, are half buried 
in the sands, where they may remain for centuries to come. 
After a heavy storm on the coast, the summer residents at 
Carolina Beach and Masonboro Sound have occasionally 
picked up along the shore some interesting relics of blockade 
times, which the heaving ocean has broken from the buried 
cargoes of the Beauregard, Venus, Hehe, and Dee. Tallow 
candles, l^assau bacon, soldiers' shoes, and other wreckage, 
comprise in part this flotsam yielded up by Neptune after 
nearly fifty years' soaking in the sea. 

The Venus was commanded by a prominent officer of the 
Royal Navy on leave of absence. Captain Murray-Aynsley, 


known by blockade runners as Captain Murray. He is now 
an Admiral in tbe British N"avj on the retired list. He was a 
great favorite with the prominent people, and especially with 
Colonel Lamb, of Fort Fisher, whose description of the vet- 
eran naval officer on the bridge of the Venus, running through 
the Federal fleet in broad daylight, hotly pursued by the 
enemy, with coat sleeves rolled up to his arm pits, but cool 
and defiant, is well worth recording. 

The loss of the Oeorgiana McCall is associated with a hor- 
rible crime — the murder of her pilot. When the ship was 
beached under the fire of the blockaders, Mr. Thomas Dyer 
did not go with the retreating crew who sought safety ashore ; 
he seems to have been left behind in the rush. It was known 
that he had a large amount of money in gold on board, and it 
was thought that he remained to secure it. A boat returned 
for him, but found his bloody corpse, instead. His skull was 
crushed as by a blow from behind ; there was no money on his 
person. Another man was found on board, but unhurt, who 
professed ignorance of his fellow. This person was the watch- 
man, and it is said he carried ashore a large amount of money. 
He was arrested on suspicion, but there was no proof. He 
still lives on the river, but the cause of poor Dyer's death will 
probably never be known until the Great Assize. 

Examples of dash and daring on the part of noted Cape 
Fear blockade runners in this phase of their history could be 
multiplied, if the limited scope of this paper would permit 
of their narration; instances so thrilling that they still stir 
one's blood to recall them after an interval of fifty years. I 
shall, however, select from memory and from published ac- 
counts of others, whom I remember as participants, only a 
few exploits of the many which might be recorded, and, 
finally, some illustrations of the closing scenes when the 
false lights of the conquerors of Fort Fisher decoyed the un- 
wary into the snare of the fowler or hastened the retreat of 
the few that escaped to a neutral port. 


A Close Call. 

The following interesting narrative, -which is true in all 
its details, was told to the writer by the late George C. Mc- 
Dougal, of Eosindale, N. C, who, 'by a clever expedient, kept 
out of Fort Lafayette, and made some forty voyages as chief 
engineer in the little steamer Siren before his former ship- 
mates were released: 

''The well known blockade running steamer Margaret and 
Jessie left Nassau heavily laden for Wilmington, and made 
a good run across to the ITorth Carolina coast. About 12 :00 
meridian she was in the latitude of IsTew Inlet, and she ran 
on the western edge of the GuK Stream until sundo^vn, when 
she headed for the beach and made land to the northward of 
the blockading fleet of the Cape Fear. While tracking down 
the beach, one of the cruisers sighted us, and sent up rockets, 
which made it necessary for us to run the remainder of the 
distance under fire from the whole line of the blockaders. 
Just as we got the lights in range at the Inlet and were about 
to head the ship over the bar, we distinguished a gunboat 
anchored in the channel under cover of the wrecked steamer 
Arabian. We immediately put the ship about, and, with the 
whole fleet trailing after us, ran off shore. At daylight none 
of our followers was in sight, but away off shore to the 
southward we sighted the armed transport Fulton. As we 
could not cross her bow, Capt. Robert Lockwood, who com- 
manded our ship, hauled to the northward and eastward, un- 
fortunately driving us across the bows of all the cruisers 
which had run off shore in chase. We had to run the fire 
of five of these war ships as we crossed their bows and drop- 
ped "them astern. During all this time the Fulton kept the 
weather gauge of us ; and after a hard day's chase from ISTew 
Inlet to Hatteras, we were at last compelled to surrender late 
in the afternoon ; as the Fulton seemed determined to run us 
down, there being hardly a cable's length between us when 
we hove to and stopped the engines. Before doing this, 
however, we were careful to throw the mail bags, government 


dispatches, and ship's papers into the furnace of the fireroom, 
where they were quickly consumed. 

"While our ship's company was being transferred to the 
Fulton, the United States steamer Keystone State and two 
other cruisers came up, and sent several boats' crews aboard 
the Margaret and Jessie, who looted her of all the silver, 
cutlery, glassware, cabin furniture, table cloths, and napkins 
— doubtless everything they could carry off in their boats. 
The Fulton, having sent a prize crew on board, took us in 
tow for New York, where, immediately on our arrival, we 
were confined in Ludlow Street jail. Two days after, the 
oflS.cers and crew of the blockade runner JElla and Annie were 
brought in, she having been captured off Wilmington after 
a desperate resistance by her brave commander, Captain Bon- 
neau. During our incarceration we were visited frequently 
by United States deputy marshals, who tried to identify some 
of us suspected of holding commissions in the Confederate 
service and of being regularly engaged in blockade running, 
as distinguished from those less harmful members of the crew 
who would be only too glad to abandon further attempts on 
regaining their liberty. These officers were immediately as- 
sailed with questions from all quarters. 'What are you going 
to do with us here ?' 'Are you going to let us out V to which 
they would respond, 'We cannot tell — the crew lists have been 
sent to Washington for inspection ; you will have to wait until 
they are returned.' 

"We were kept in this state of suspense for about three 
weeks, when a squad of deputy marshals came to the jail and 
mustered the entire company. We soon ascertained that the 
crew lists had come from Washington, and that we were to go 
down to the Marshal's office, where the names of those who 
were to be released were to be called out, and the unfortunate 
ones remaining prepared for a long term of imprisonment at 
one of the well known prison-pens so dreaded by those who af- 
terwards realized all their horrors. We were, accordingly, 
marched down to the Marshal's headquarters in Burton's old 


theatre, on Chambers Street, opposite City Hall Park, where 
we were ordered to select our baggage and prepare to be 
searched for contraband articles. The entire oflSce force of 
clerks had been drawn by curiosity from their desks to the 
other end of the large room, where the inspection was going 
on ; and while my baggage was being examined by an officer 
I asked him if he knew who were to be released ; to which he 
replied that he did not know, but that the list of those who 
would be released could be found in a large book on that desk, 
pointing his finger to the other end of the room. When his 
inspection was completed I asked if I might go and read the 
names to satisfy my curiosity. He said there could be no 
harm in doing so, and asked if I could read. I said, yes, 
that I thought I could make out the names. Whereupon, 
I walked with forced indifference to the desk, and found a big 
journal laid open upon it, containing the names of the men 
belonging to the Ella and Annie s crew who were to be dis- 
charged. This did not interest me ; and looking further down 
I saw, also, the names of those of my own ship who were to be 
released, but from the top to the bottom there was no Greorge 
C. McDougal. You may depend upon it, I felt very sad as 
Fort Lafayette loomed up in all its dreariness. My case 
was indeed hopeless. Looking furtively over my shoulder, 
I saw that the desk was so placed that my back shielded me 
from the eyes of the marshals at the moment, and also that 
the officers and clerks were very busy seeing what they could 
confiscate, each man for himself, out of the baggage of the 
unfortunate prisoners ; and, feeling that no worse fate could 
overtake me, I slipped my hand cautiously along the desk, 
took up a pen and imitating as closely as possible the charac- 
ter of the writing before me, inscribed my own name at the 
bottom of the list, and immediately returned to the crowd at 
the other end of the room. The deputy asked me if I saw 
my own name, to which I promptly responded, 'Yes.' 'Then 
you are all right,' said he, 'and will be turned out to-night.' 
Shortly afterwards, we were marched off to a neighboring 
place to get our supper at the expense of Uncle Sam, after 


which the Chief Marshal and Judge Beebe appeared, and in 
due form separated those who were to be released from the 
unfortunate ones remaining. I waited, with feelings that can 
be imagined better than they can be described, as the names 
were read ; and at last mj own name was called without the 
detection of my expedient, which was, doubtless, owing to 
the fact that the room was badly lighted and darkness had 
already set in. Promptly responding to my name, I at once 
passed out into the night, leaving my commander. Captain 
Eobert Lockwood, the Wilmington pilot, Mr. Charles Craig, 
and Billy Willington, our engineer, and several others of the 
Margaret and Jessie, who, together with Captain Frank Bon- 
neau, his Wilmington pilot, and his chief engineer, Alexander 
Laurence, were sent to Fort Lafayette where they remained 
until about the end of the war. 

The Kate's Adventure. 

In the spring of the year 1862 the Confederate Govern- 
ment, desiring to arrange for the importation of supplies for 
the War Department, and finding the principal ports of the 
South Atlantic coast so well guarded by the blockaders that 
the new undertaking of blockade running was considered 
extra hazardous, decided to use the smaller inlets, which were 
less carefully watched by the enemy, and dispatched the 
steamer Kate from l^assau with a cargo of ammunition to 
Smyrna, Florida, where an entrance was safely effected by 
that vessel, and the cargo immediately discharged and trans- 
ported across the country to a place of safety. 

The Kate was commanded by Capt. Thomas J. Lockwood, 
of Smithville, on the Cape Fear Eiver, who was well known to 
our river pilots and seafaring people as a man of very superior 
skill and seamanship, and thoroughly familiar with the bars 
and inlets along the Southern coast. 

A second voyage by the Kate had been completed, and the 
cargo successfully discharged and transported, before the 
movement was made known to the blockading squadron; but 
while the Kate was waiting for the return of Captain Lock- 


wood from Charleston, whither he had proceeded to bring 
his family to the ship at Smyrna Inlet, a Federal man-of-war 
discovered her hiding place, which forced the chief officer 
of the Kate to proceed to sea at once, leaving the captain 
behind. The Federal cruiser landed a boat's crew, and 
burned the house of Mr. Sheldon, the pilot who had assisted 
in bringing the Kate to an anchorage, shortly after which, 
Captain Lockwood arrived with his family, to find that the 
ship had already departed. Mr. Sheldon, however, furnished 
him with an ordinary whaleboat, which had escaped the 
scrutiny of the Federal man-of-war's men, and Captain Lock- 
wood at once determined to undertake the voyage in this frail 
craft, and overtake the Kate at ISTassau. The boat was only 
sixteen feet long and not at all well found for such a perilous 

After a short delay, the captain, his brave wife, their two 
children, and a hired boy, found themselves safe over the bar 
and headed for the Bahamas. The following account of this 
remarkable voyage was written by Mrs. Lockwood, and has 
been kindly furnished by her brother, Mr. McDougal : 

"After the baggage was safe on board, I was carried in a 
man's arms through the surf and placed in the boat, and we 
started over the sea in our frail little craft. A few yards from 
shore we discovered that she was sinking, but turned back in 
time to reach the beach, to which I was again transferred just 
as the boat went down. With some difficulty she was re- 
covered, when it was found that the plug had come out of the 
bottom while drawing the boat over the beach. We soon 
found a remedy for this trouble, and proceeded to cross the 
Gulf Stream. On the following morning, the wind blew a 
gale. The waves dashed high over us all day, while the wind 
increased in fury. For fifteen hours we waited and prayed, 
thinking that every moment would be our last. About five 
o'clock in the evening, we discovered a reef and steered along 
the rocks to find an opening, so that we might cross the line 
of breakers and get into calm water. Oakie told us to sit 
still and hold fast to the boat, as we must go over the rocks 


or sink. As each enormous wave came towards us it seemed 
to reach the skj and break over our frail craft, deluging us 
with water. For several moments in succession I would sit 
under these huge waves, holding on with one hand and clasp- 
ing mj babj with the other. Breaker after breaker burst 
over us, and at the same time lifted the boat farther and 
farther on to the rocks, until at last we were plunged ahead 
into the smooth water of the bay beyond. By some means, I 
cannot tell how, we reached one of the vessels lying at anchor, 
when they lifted us all on board and carried us into the cabin. 
We could not walk for cold and cramp. On Sunday, the 23d, 
the schooner upon which we had taken refuge sailed for 
N'assau, and on Monday we landed on Elbow Cay, one of the 
Bahama Islands, the wind not being favorable for us to con- 
tinue further that day. On the 25th, with a fair wind, we 
again proceeded towards E"assau, and arrived on Wednesday, 
after being three weeks on the journey from Charleston." 

Mr. McDougal adds in his journal, that he was then chief 
engineer of the steamer Kate, of 500 tons, in the Gulf Stream, 
about 150 miles from where Captain Lockwood was cruising 
in a little boat ; and that the gale was so severe that this large 
vessel was obliged to lie to, and suffered considerable damage 
in consequence of the severity of the storm, and that it seems 
a miracle that a small boat like Captain Lockwood's should 
have lived through such a fearful gale. 

The British Flag. 
A majority of the blockade runners bore British certifi- 
cates of registry and sailed under the British flag because 
they were owned and manned by British subjects, and traded 
with British ports. This did not save them from capture and 
condemnation if caught with contraband cargoes between 
K"assau or Bermuda and the coast of the Southern States, 
whether they attempted to break the blockade or not. But 
if they were bound from a British port, say ITassau or Ber- 
muda, to a home port in Great Britain, loaded with cotton, 
they would be protected from capture by their flag and regis- 


ter and their manifest of British ownership ; or, if they were 
bound from Great Britain to I^assau or Bermuda with arms 
or war supplies and certified British ownership, although 
ultimately intending to run the blockade, their papers would 
protect them from molestation by the Federal cruisers. iSTot 
so with those under the Confederate flag, which were liable to 
capture whenever found on the high seas. 

When the War between the States began Mr. Donald Mac- 
Rae was British Vice Consul at Wilmington. He resigned, 
however, and Mr. Alexander Sprunt was appointed by Consul 
Henry Pinckney Walker at Charleston to act in his place, but 
the function was suspended by General Whiting because there 
were no diplomatic relations between the foreign Powers and 
the Confederacy, Great Britain having only recognized our 
belligerent rights. 

It is remarkable that during the entire war the British flag 
was the only foreign colors flown in the ports of the Con- 

Closing Scenes in Blockade Running. 

The closing scenes of blockade running were described by 
Colonel Scharf in his History of the Confederate States 
Navy, as follows : 

"The military and naval expeditions against Wilmington 
in December, 1864, and in January, 1865, resulted in the 
capture of the forts and the closing of the port. Eight ves- 
sels left the port of Nassau between the 12th and 16th of 
January, one of which took four one-hundred-pounder Arm- 
strong guns ; and at the time of their sailing there were over 
two and a half million pounds of bacon stored at iSTassau 
awaiting transportation. The confidence reposed in the de- 
fense of Wilmington continued unabated on the part of the 
blockade runners, and the Charlotte, the Blenheim, and the 
Stag, all British steamers, ran in after the fall of Fort Fisher, 
and were captured by the Federal cruisers in the river. The 
blockade runner Owl, Captain John X. Maffitt, C. S. 'N., in 
command, succeeded in passing over the bar near Fort Cas- 


well, and anchored at Smitbville on the night the forts were 
evacuated; and immediately returned to Bermuda, arriving 
on the 21st, and carrying the news of the fall of Fort Fisher 
and the end of blockade running at Wilmington. Her ar- 
rival was timely, stopping the Maud Camphell, Old Domin- 
ion, Florence, Deer and Virginia. Most, if not all, of these 
steamers now turned their prows towards Charleston, the last 
harbor remaining accessible ; and, though the fall of that city 
was impending, yet a cargo might be safely landed and trans- 
ported along the interior line to the famishing armies of the 
Confederate States. To that end Captain Wilkinson deter- 
mined to make the effort ; but it was the part of prudence to 
ascertain, positively, before sailing, that Charleston was still 
in our possession. This intelligence was brought by the 
Chicora, which arrived at IsTassau on the 30th of January; 
and on February 1st, the Oivl, Carolina, Dream, Chicora, and 
Chameleon sailed within a few hours of each other for 

"The effort was a brave and gallant one, but was ineffec- 
tual. The United States ship Vanderhilt intercepted the 
Chameleon, and, after an exciting chase, was dodged by the 
fast sailing vessel under the cool seamanship of the gallant 
Wilkinson. Turning on the Vanderhilt, the Chameleon again 
attempted to reach Charleston; but having lost a day in es- 
caping from her enemy, and being retarded by unfavorable 
weather, she did not reach the coast near Charleston bar till 
the fifth night after leaving ISJ'assau. The blockading fleet, 
reinforced from that off Wilmington, now closed every practi- 
cal entrance; but it was not until after assurances from the 
pilot that entrance was impossible, that Captain Wilkinson 
'turned away from the land, and our hearts sank within us, 
while conviction forced itself upon us that the cause for which 
so much blood had been shed, so many miseries bravely en- 
dured, and so many sacrifices cheerfully made, was about to 
perish at last.' The Chicora, more fortunate than the Chame- 
leon, ran into Charleston, but finding the city evacuated, ran 
out, despite the effectiveness of the blockade, and reached 


Nassau on the 28th. The Fox, less fortunate, ran into 
Charleston in ignorance of its capture and was seized by the 
Federal cruisers. 

"Capt. John N. Maffitt, C. S. I^., in the Owl left Ha- 
vana, about the middle of March, within a quarter of an 
hour after the United States ship Cherokee steamed out 
of the harbor. Passing Morro Castle, the Owl hugged the 
coast towards the west, followed by the CheroTcee, the chase 
continuing for an hour or more. The Owl had speed, and 
Maffitt had the seamanship to 'throw dust into the eyes' of his 
pursuer by changing her coal from hard to soft ; thus clouding 
the air with dense black smoke, under cover of which the Owl 
turned on the Cherokee, and, steaming away to the stern of 
the cruiser, disappeared in the darkness of night and storm." 


If the Federal Government was unprepared for naval war- 
fare at the beginning of the civil strife, the Confederacy was 
even less prepared, for it could not claim the ownership of a 
single ship. In a conversation shortly after the war, our dis- 
tinguished naval officer, Capt. John JSTewland Maffitt, said : 

"The Northern Navy contributed materially to the suc- 
cessful issue of the war. The grand mistake of the South was 
neglecting her Navy. All our Army movements out West 
were baffled by the armed Federal steamers which swarmed 
on Western waters, and which our government had provided 
nothing to meet. Before the capture of New Orleans, the 
South ought to have had a navy strong enough to prevent the 
capture of that city and hold firmly the Mississippi and its 
tributaries. This would have prevented many disastrous 
battles; it would have made Sherman's march through the 
country impossible, and Lee would have been master of his 
lines. The errors of our government were numerous, but the 
neglect of the Navy proved irremediable and fatal. 

"Nobody here," he continued, "would believe at first that 
a great war was before us. South Carolina seceded first, and 


improvised a navy consisting of two small tug boats ! 'Portia 
Carolina followed suit, and armed a tug and a small passen- 
ger boat ! Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana put in commis- 
sion a bandful of frail river boats that you could have knocked 
to pieces with a pistol shot. That was our Navy! Then 
came Congress and voted money to pay officers like myself, 
who had resigned from the Federal E'avy, but nothing to 
build or arm ships for us to command. Of course, it woke up 
by and by, and ordered vessels to be built here, there, and 
everywhere, but it was too late. 

"And yet," said the Captain, with a momentary kindling 
of the eye, as the thought of other days came back to him, 
"the Confederate 'Navj, minute though it was, won a place 
for itself in history. To the Confederates the credit belongs 
of testing in battle the invulnerability of ironclads, and of 
revolutionizing the navies of the world. The Merrimac did 
this; and, though we had but a handful of light cruisers, 
while the ocean swarmed with armed Federal vessels, we 
defied the Federal Navy and swept Northern commerce from 
the seas." 

Colonel Scharf, in his admirable History of the Confed- 
erate States Navy, says : "In many respects the most inter- 
esting chapter of the history of the Confederate Navy is that 
of the building and operation of the ships-of-war which drove 
the merchant flag of the United States from the oceans and 
almost extirpated their carrying trade. But the limitations 
of space of this volume forbid more than a brief review of the 
subject. The function of commerce-destroyers is now so well 
admitted as an attribute of war between recognized belliger- 
ents by all nations of the world, that no apology is necessary 
for the manner in which the South conducted hostilities upon 
the high seas against her enemy ; and, while Federal officials 
and organs styled the cruisers 'pirates' and their commanders 
'buccaneers,' such stigmatization has long since been swept 
away, along with other rubbish of the War between the 
States, and their legal status fully and honorably established. 
We have not the space for quotations from Prof. Soley, Prof. 


Bolles, and other writers iij^on this point; but what they have 
said may be summed up in the statement that the government 
and agents of the Confederacy transgressed no principle of 
right in this matter, and that if the United States were at 
war to-day, they would strike at the commerce of an enemy 
in as nearly the same manner as circumstances would permit. 
The justification of the Confederate authorities is not in the 
slightest degree affected by the fact that the Geneva Tribunal 
directed Great Britain to pay the General Government $15,- 
500,000 in satisfaction for ships destroyed by cruisers con- 
structed in British ports. 

"Eleven Confederate cruisers figured in the Alabama 
Claims' settlement between the United States and Great Brit- 
ain. They were the Alabama, Shenandoah, Florida, Talla- 
hassee, Georgia, Chickamauga, Nashville, Retribution, Sum- 
ter, Sallie, and Boston. The actual losses inflicted by the 
Alabama, $6,547,609, were only $60,000 greater than those 
charged to the Shenandoah. The sum total of the claims 
filed against the eleven cruisers for ships and cargoes was 
$17,900,633, all but about $4,000,000 being caused by the 
Alabama and the Shenandoah. The tribunal decided that 
Great Britain was in no way responsible for the losses in- 
fiicted by any cruisers but the Alabama, Florida, and Shenan- 
doah. It disallowed all the claims of the United States for 
indirect or consequential losses, which included the approxi- 
mate extinction of American commerce by the capture of 
ships or their transfer to foreign flags. What this amounted 
to is shown in the 'Case of the United States' presented to the 
tribunal. In this it is stated that while in 1860 two-thirds 
of the commerce of New York was carried on in American 
bottoms, in 1863, three-fourths was carried on in foreign bot- 
toms. The transfer of American vessels to the British flag 
to avoid capture is stated thus: In 1861, vessels 126, ton- 
nage 71,673; in 1862, vessels 135, tonnage 64,578; in 1863, 
vessels 348, tonnage 252,579; in 1864, vessels 106, tonnage 
92,052. Commanders of the Confederate cruisers have 
avoAved that the destruction of private property and diversion 


of legitimate commerce in the performance of their duty was 
painful in the extreme to them ; but in its wars the United 
States had always practiced this mode of harassing an enemy, 
and had, indeed, been the most conspicuous exemplar of it 
that the world ever saw." 

Since the foregoing was written by Colonel Scharf in 1887 
there has been a growing aversion to privateering on the part 
of the principal commercial powers, A press association dis- 
patch from Washing-ton during the late Boer War said : 

"The report from Brussels that former President Kruger 
is being urged to notify the powers that unless they intervene 
in the South African contest he will commission privateers 
is not treated seriously here. It is well understood, as one 
outcome of the war with Spain, that the United States Gov- 
ernment will never again, except in the most extraordinary 
emergency, issue letters of marque ; and the same reasons that 
impel our government to this course would undoubtedly oper- 
ate to prevent it from recognizing any such warrants issued 
by any other nation, even if that nation were in full standing. 

"In the case of the Spanish War, both the belligerents by 
agreement refrained from issuing commissions to privateers, 
and it now has been many years since the flag of any reputa- 
ble nation has flown over such craft." 

In this connection the following letter written by Presi- 
dent Jefferson Davis in 1882 at his home, "Beauvoir," will 
doubtless be interesting: 

(From Southern Historical Society Papers for 1883, Vol. II.) 

Confederate Pkivateersmen. 
Letter Fkom President Jefferson Davis. 

Beaitvoir, Harrison County, Miss., 

June 21, 1882. 
The Picayune of yesterday, in its column of "Personal and General 
Notes," has the following: 

"General William Raymond Lee, of Boston, carries in his pocket- 
book a little slip of paper bearing the single word 'Death.' It is the 
ballot he drew, when a prisoner of war in a jail at Richmond, when 
he and two others were chosen by lot to be hanged, in retaliation 
for the sentencing to death of certain Confederate officers charged 


with piracy. The sentence of the pirates was happily commuted, 
and General Lee and his comrades were subsequently exchanged." 

During the war a persistent effort was made to misrepresent our 
cause, and its defenders, by the use of inappropriate terms. Our 
privateers were called "pirates," our cruisers were called "priva- 
teers," and Admiral Semmes, though regularly commissioned, was 
sometimes called a "pirate," by Northern officials and writers. I find 
this word even now, when time and reflection should have corrected 
the misnomer, is used in the paragraph copied in your paper. I 
know nothing of the person referred to, but the story of a ballot 
having been drawn with a premature sentence of death is refuted by 
the statement of the course pursued by the Confederate Government 
on the question of retaliation, in the event of the threat to execute 
some of our privateersmen who had been captured when cruising, 
with letters of marque, in 1861. 

On pages 11 and 12, Vol. II, of the Rise and Fall of the Confed- 
erate Government, the case is fully stated as follows: 

"Reference has been made to our want of a Navy, and the efforts 
made to supply the deficiency. The usual resort under such circum- 
stances to privateers was, in our case, without the ordinary incentive 
of gain, as all foreign ports were closed against our prizes and, our 
own ports being soon blockaded, our vessels, public or private, had 
but the alternative of burning or bonding their captures. To those 
who, nevertheless, desired them, letters of marque were granted by 
us, and there was soon a small fleet of vessels composed of those 
which had taken out these letters, and others which had been pur- 
chased and fitted out by the Navy Department. They hovered on 
the coast of the Northern States, capturing and destroying their 
vessels, and filling the enemy with consternation. The President of 
the United States had already declared in his proclamation of April 
19th, as above stated, that 'any person, who, under the pretended 
authority of the said (Confederate) States, should molest a vessel 
of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board,' should be 
held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention of 
piracy. This was another violation of international law, another 
instance of arrogant disregard for universal opinion. The threat, if 
meant for intimidation, and to deprive the Confederacy of one of 
the usual weapons of war, was unbecoming to the head of a govern- 
ment. To have executed it upon a helpless prisoner, would have 
been a crime intensified by its cowardice. Happily for the United 
States, the threat was not executed, but the failure to carry out the 
declared purpose was coupled with humiliation, because it was the 
result of a notice to retaliate as fully as might need be to stop such a 
barbarous practice. To yield to the notice thus served was a practi- 
cal admission by the United States Government that the Confed- 
eracy had become a power among the nations. 

"On June 3, 1861, the little schooner Savannah, previously a pilot 
boat in Charleston harbor and sailing under a commission issued by 


authority of the Confederate States, was captured by the United 
States brig Perry. The crew was placed in irons and sent to New 
York. It appeared, from statements made without contradiction, that 
they were not treated as prisoners of war, whereupon a letter was 
addressed by me to President Lincoln, dated July 6, stating explicitly 
that 'painful as will be the necessity, this Government will deal out 
to the prisoners held by it the same treatment and the same fate 
as shall be experienced by those captured on the Savannah; and, if 
driven to the terrible necessity of retaliation by your execution of 
any of the officers or crew of the Savannah, that retaliation will be 
extended so far as shall be requisite to secure the abandonment of 
a practice unknown to the warfare of civilized man, and so barbarous 
as to disgrace the nation which shall be guilty of inaugurating it' 
A reply was promised to this letter, but none came. Still later in 
the year the privateer Jefferson Davis was captured, the captain and 
crew brought into Philadelphia, and the captain tried and found 
guilty of piracy and threatened with death. Immediately I instructed 
General Winder, at Richmond, to select one prisoner of the highest 
rank, to be confined in a cell appropriated to convicted felons, and 
treated in all respects as if convicted, and to be held for execution 
in the same manner as might be adopted for the execution of the 
prisoner of war in Philadelphia. He was further instructed to 
select thirteen other prisoners of the highest rank, to be held in the 
same manner as hostages for the thirteen prisoners held in New 
York for trial as pirates. By this course the infamous attempt made 
by the United States Government to commit judicial murder on 
prisoners of war was arrested. 

"The attention of the British House of Lords was also attracted to 
the proclamation of President Lincoln threatening the officers and 
crews of privateers with the punishment of piracy. It led to a dis- 
cussion, in which the Earl of Derby said, he 'appreciated that if one 
thing was clearer than another, it was that privateering was not 
piracy, and that no law could make that piracy as regarded the 
subjects of one nation, which was not piracy by the law of nations. 
Consequently the United States must not be allowed to entertain 
this doctrine, and to call upon her Majesty's Government not to 
interfere.' The Lord Chancellor said, there was 'no doubt, that if 
an Englishman engaged in the service of the Southern States, he 
violated the laws of his country, and rendered himself liable to 
punishment, and had no right to trust to the protection of his 
native country to shield him from the consequences of his act. But, 
though that individual would be guilty of a breach of the law of 
his own country, he could not be treated as a pirate, and those who 
treated him as a pirate would be guilty of murder.' " 

This narration of facts, and the opinions of two disinterested and 
distinguished foreigners, must be conclusive to every fair mind, 
that to term the prisoners "pirates," was an inexcusable pretext, and 
that the conduct of the Confederate Government was in strict accord- 


ance with the usages of civilized war, and that the desire to 
protect its citizens, was marked by no stain of inhumanity. 
Respectfully yours, 

Jefferson Davis. 

About the beginning of the year 1862, the Confederate 
States Government began the construction of an ironclad 
ram, named North Carolina, on the west side of Cape Fear 
at the shipyard of the late W. B. Berry; the drawings and 
specifications of the vessel having been made by Captain 
John L. Porter, Chief Naval Constructor of the Confederate 
States Navy, with headquarters at Portsmouth, Virginia. 

The armament of the North Carolina consisted of one 
10-inch pivot gun in the bow and six broadside guns of about 
8-inch calibre. The timbers of the vessel were heavy pine 
and hardwood covered with railroad iron, giving the ram, 
when launched, the appearance of a turtle in the water. 

The North Carolina was subsequently anchored for a long 
time off Smithville, as a g-uard vessel commanding the en- 
trance to the river at the main bar, until she was gradually 
destroyed by the toredo, or sea-worm, and sank at her moor- 
ings, where, I believe, she still remains. 

The Raleigh, a vessel of like construction, was built later 
at the wharf near the foot of Church Street ; and after being 
launched was completed at Cassidey's shipyard. Her con- 
struction and armament were similar to that of the North 
Carolijia, but she was covered with heavy iron plates of two 
thicknesses running fore and aft and athwart ship. 

I am indebted to a distinguished ex-Confederate officer for 
the following particulars of an expedition from Wilmington 
against the Federal blockading fleet off New Inlet Bar, in 
which the Raleigh took a conspicuous part ; and which, con- 
trary to the hopes and expectations of our people, not only 
proved to be a dismal failure, but resulted in the loss of the 
Raleigh, which broke her back while trying to reenter the 
river and sank in the middle of the narrow channel, proving 
afterwards a troublesome obstruction to the blockade runners 
at New Inlet. 


The ^tar of the Confederacy was waning in the spring of 
1864, a depreciated currency and the scant supply of pro- 
visions and clothing had sent prices almost beyond the reach 
of people of moderate means. In Eichmond, meal was $10 
per bushel; butter, $5 per pound; sugar, $12 per pound; 
bacon, hog round, $4 per pound; brogan shoes, $25 per pair; 
felt hats, $150; cotton cloth, $30 per yard; and it was a 
saying in the Capital of the Confederacy, that the money 
had to be carried in the market basket and the marketing 
brought home in the pocketbook. 

Early in May the condition of the commissariat had been 
alarming; but a few days' rations were left for Lee's army, 
and only the timely arrival of the blockade runner Banshee 
with provisions saved the troops from suffering. 

Wilmington was the only port left to the blockade runners, 
and the blockade of the mouths of the Cape Fear had become 
dangerously stringent. Some twenty steamers guarded the 
two inlets, besides two outer lines of fast cruisers between 
this city and the friendly ports of Nassau and the Bermudas. 
On dark nights, armed launches were sent into the bar to 
report outgoing steamers by firing rockets in the direction 
taken by them. The ceaseless vigilance of the forts could 
scarcely make an exit for friendly vessels even comparatively 
free from danger. An hour after dark, Fort Fisher, having 
trailed its sea-face guns upon the bar, would ricochet its 
Columbiad shot and shell upon that point, so as to frighten 
off the launches; and then the blockade runners would ven- 
ture out and take their chances of running the gauntlet of the 
blockading fleet. 

In this emergency. Commodore Lynch, commanding the 
Confederate fleet in the Cape Fear Eiver, determined to 
raise the blockade off ISTew Inlet, the favorite entrance of the 
blockade runners. 

The ironclad ram Raleigh, already described, Lieut. 
J. Pembroke Jones commanding, and two small wooden gun- 
boats, Yadkin and Equator, were chosen for the purpose. 
Our late townsman, Capt. E. W. Manning, chief en- 


gineer of the station, and the late Engineer Smith, C. S. i^., 
of Fayetteville, were in charge of the machinery of the 
Raleigh. On the afternoon of May 6, 1864, the Commodore 
visited Fort Fisher, to take a reconnoissance, and obtain, as 
far as practicable, the cooperation of the fort. Seven vessels 
were at anchorage at sundown ; the Tuscarora, Britannia, 
Nansemond, Howquali, Mount Vernon, Kansas and Niphon. 
He arranged a distinguishing signal for his vessels — a red 
light above a white one — so that they would not be fired 
upon by the fort. 

Fort Fisher had its sea-face guns manned after dark by ex- 
perienced artillerists, and about eight o'clock the range lights 
were set on the mound and the Confederate flotilla put to sea. 
The commander of the fort, Col. William Lamb, with some of 
his officers, repaired to the ramparts opposite the bar and 
awaited the result. 

Within thirty minutes after the vessels had disappeared 
from the vision of the anxious garrison, a few shots were 
heard from seaward, and some coston blue lights were seen 
in the offing; then all was dark as Erebus and silent as the 
grave. Speculation was rife among the Confederates who 
manned the|funs. Had the foe been dispersed or destroyed ? 
Why were'no rockets sent up to announce a victory, to cheer 
the thousand hearts which beat with anxious hope within Fort 
Fisher ? A long night of waiting was spent without any sign 
save the occasional twinkle of a distant light at sea. The 
gunners were relieved at midnight, but all continued dark 
and silent. 

At last day dawned, the breakers on the bar became visible, 
the Raleigh and her consorts appeared, and then outside of 
them, at long range, the enemy's fleet. Shots were exchanged 
after daylight between the combatants ; one of the Federal 
vessels fired rapidly at the Raleigh, approaching as she fired, 
but, receiving a shot from the ironclad through her smoke- 
stack, withdrew to a safer distance. 

Then the seven blockaders came closer to the Confederate 
fleet, showing fight, and probably with the intention of trying 


to run the Raleigh down; but that vessel and her consorts 
headed for the fort and steamed slowly in, the enemy pru- 
dently keeping beyond the range of the guns of Fort Fisher. 
It was a great disappointment that the garrison saw the 
Raleigh, Yadkin, and Equator come over the bar and under 
the guns of the fort, leaving the blockading squadron ap- 
parently unharmed. 

The Yadkin and Equator came safe into the river, but the 
Raleigh, after passing the mound and rounding Confederate 
Point, grounded on the rip at the mouth of the river. Efforts 
were made to lighten her and get her off, but the receding 
tide caused her to hog and break in two, on account of the 
heavy armor, and, becoming a wreck, she subsequently sank 
and went to pieces. Little was saved from her, but the crew 
were not endangered, as the weather was calm. 


(By an Ex-Confederate oiScer.') 

After the capital of the Confederacy there was not in the 
South a more important place than the little town of Wil- 
mington, North Carolina, about twenty miles from the mouth 
of the Cape Fear River, noted in peace times for its exports 
of tar, pitch, turpentine, and lumber. 

Previous to the War between the States Wilmington was 
very gay and social. But the War sadly changed the place 
— many of the old families moving away into the interior, 
and those who remained, either from altered circumstances 
or the loss of relatives in battle, living in retirement. When 
we first knew it, Maj. Gen. W. H. C. Whiting was in 
command. He was an Old Army officer, who for a long time 
had been stationed at Smithville, near the Old Inlet at the 
mouth of the river, where prior to the war there had been 
a fort and a garrison, though for some years disused. 
Whiting was one of the most accomplished officers in the 
Southern Army. He was a splendid engineer, and having 

iln a Northern magazine after the war. 


been engaged in the Coast Survey for some time on that por- 
tion of the coast knew the country thoroughly, the capability 
of defense, the strong and the weak points. He was fond of 
the social glass, and may have sometimes gone too far. He 
was not popular with many of the citizens, as he was arbi- 
trary, and paid little attention to the suggestions of civilians. 
He was a very handsome, soldierly-looking man, and though 
rough sometimes in his manners, he was a gentleman at 
heart, incapable of anything mean or low, and of undaunted 
courage. Peace to his ashes ! 

On Whiting's staff were three young officers of great prom- 
ise: his brother-in-law, Maj. J. H. Hill, of the Old Army, 
now an active express agent at Wilmington; Maj. Ben- 
jamin Sloan, his ordnance officer, now teaching school some- 
where in the mountains of South Carolina; and Lieut. 
J. H. Fairley, a young Irishman, who had been many years 
in this country, and who hailed from South Carolina. Fair- 
ley was noted in the Army as a daring scout and very hard 
rider, withal one of the quietest and most modest of men. 
He is now drumming for a dry-goods house in New York in- 
stead of inspecting the outposts. We wonder if he recollects 
the night when the writer picked up a rattlesnake in his 
blanket at Masonboro Sound ! 

Whiting scarcely ever had enough troops at his command 
to make up a respectable Confederate division. In 1864 he 
had at Wilmington Martin's brigade, which was a very fine 
and large one, composed of four jSTorth Carolina regiments, 
remarkably well officered; two or three companies of heavy 
artillery in the town, doing provost and guard duty ; at Fort 
Caswell at the mouth of the Old Inlet on the Western Bar, 
a battalion of heavy artillery and a light battery; at Smith- 
ville a similar battalion; at Baldhead, an island opposite 
Fort Caswell, Hedrick's North Carolina regiment, about 600 
effective men ; at Fort Fisher, Lamb's North Carolina regi- 
ment, about 700 effective men ; a company at Fort Anderson ; 
a company of the Seventh Confederate States Cavalry at the 
ferry over New River, sixty miles northeast of Wilmington, 


on the Sound ; two companies of cavalry, a light battery, and a 
company of infantry at Kenansville, forty miles north of 
Wilmington and seven miles east of the Weldon Railroad. 
These, with two or three light batteries scattered along the 
Sound, from a little above Fort Fisher up to Topsail, consti- 
tuted in the spring of 1864 the whole Confederate force in the 
Department of Cape Fear. 

With this force and Whiting's skill and bravery, we mili- 
tary men thought we could hold Wilmington, for we justly 
regarded the General as one of the few eminently fit appoint- 
ments that the War Department had made. In Whiting, we 
had implicit faith. So, though there were constant rumors 
of expeditions against the place we scarcely believed they 
were coming, so long had the thing been delayed, and, in fact, 
an attack was wished for by the youthful Hotspurs to relieve 
the monotony of the garrison life at Caswell, Baldhead, and 
Fisher. Thus we had lapsed into a dream of security, or 
thought, at least, the evil day was far off. We ate, drank, 
and were merry, and there was marrying and giving in mar- 
riage, as in the days before the flood. 

It seemed singular to us that the United States should so 
long neglect to close almost the only port of the Confederacy 
into which, every "dark of the moon," there ran a half dozen 
or so swift blockade runners, freighted with cannon, muskets, 
and every munition of war — medicines, cloth, shoes, bacon, 
etc. Through that port were brought till January 1865, all 
the stores and material needed by the indefatigable Colonel 
Gorgas,^ the Confederate chief of ordnance, the most efficient 
bureau officer the Confederacy had. Thi-ough it came those 
famous Whitworth and Armstrong guns sent us by our 
English friends. Into Wilmington was brought by Mr. 
Commissary General Northrop that rotten, putrid bacon 
called "JSTassau," because it had spoiled on the wharves of 
that place before being reshipped for Wilmington. It was 
coarse Western bacon, bought by Confederate emissaries at 

iThe father of the present (1914) distinguished oflBcer of that 


the North ; and many a time have we imprecated curses both 
loud and deep on poor old Northrop's devoted head as we 
vforried down a piece of the rancid stuff. We must say, in 
all candor, that he was impartial in his distribution of it, 
and ordered it given to both Confederate trooper and Federal 
prisoner. Northrop himself ate none of it ; he lived on rice ; 
of which he would buy a hogshead at a time from the Com- 
missariat. We became so vitiated in our taste by eating it 
that at last we came to prefer it to good bacon, and liked the 
strong, rancid taste. We could not afford to permit our 
stomachs to cut up any shines, and forced them to stand any 
and everything by breaking them into it. 

But the cargoes of those white-painted, bird-like looking 
steamers that floated monthly into Wilmington, producing 
such excitement and joy among its population, unfortunately 
for the Confederates, did not contain Government stores and 
munitions of war alone, bad as the bacon and much of the 
stuff bought abroad by worthless Confederate agents were. 
The public freight compared with the private was small. 
By them were brought in the cloth that made the uniforms 
of those gaily-decked clerks that swarmed the streets of 
Richmond with military titles, and read the battle bulletins 
and discussed the war news. From that source came the 
braid, buttons, and stars for that host of "Majors," who were 
truly fifth wheels and did not even have the labor of "follow- 
ing the Colonel around," with which the Confederacy was 

As for ourselves, we never had the pleasure of this sort 
of thing but twice. Once by invitation of our friend 
George Baer, alias Captain Henry, who immortalized him- 
self by writing that celebrated protest concerning the capture 
of the Greyhound, and by his escape from his captors in 
Boston. Baer invited us to a fashionable 10 o'clock break- 
fast on the Index, which he then commanded, and the conse- 
quence was we nearly stuffed ourself to death, and came 
near having an apoplectic fit. 

The Confederate Government used to send some queer 


agents abroad at the expense of the people. A Mrs. Grin- 
nell was sent out bj the Surgeon General — so she stated — to 
get bandages, etc., which nobody else, we suppose, but Mrs. 
Grinnell could get. She was an English woman, of that 
class and with those manners which any man, if he has 
traveled much, has often seen. She gave herself out as a 
daughter of an English baronet, and had first come to ISTew 
York several years prior to the war. Then there was Belle 
Boyd, who represented herself, we believe, as an agent sent 
out by Mr. Benjamin. She was captured, with our friend 
George Baer, on the Greyhound. Another was a Mrs. Bax- 
ley, of Baltimore. She represented herself, we believe, as an 
agent of old Mr. Memminger. 

Mr. Mallory's navy was always the laughing-stock of the 
Army, and many were the jeers that the Confederate ^'mud- 
crushers" let off at his ironclads, formidable things as they 
were, had he properly managed the Confederate JSTavy. Cap- 
tain Lynch was the flag-officer of the Cape Fear squadron 
when we first went there. His fleet consisted of the ironclad 
ram North Carolina, which drew so much water that she could 
never get over the bars of the Cape Fear Eiver Inlet, except, 
possibly, at the highest spring tide, and then the chances were 
against her ever getting back again; the Raleigh, another 
ironclad, not completed till late in the summer of 1864; and 
two or three little steam-tugs. They all came to grief. The 
North Carolina, the bottom of which was neither sheathed 
nor prepared to resist the worms, was pierced by them till 
her hull was like a honeycomb, and finally she sunk opposite 
Smithville. The Raleigh, after going out and scaring off the 
blockading fleet at the New Inlet, was beached and lost on 
a bar near Fort Fisher in returning. The tugs were burned 
on the river subsequent to the evacuation of the town. 

Whiting and Lynch, from some cause or other, never were 
on good terms, jealous of each other's authority, we suppose. 
It finally came near culminating seriously. There had been 
an order sent by Mr. Mallory to Lynch, in pursuance of an 
act of the Confederate Congress, not to let any vessel go out 


without taking out a certain proportion of Government cot- 
ton. Lyncli was commander of the naval defenses of the 
Cape Fear. By some oversight the Adjutant General's of- 
fice at Richmond had sent no such order to Whiting, who 
commanded the department, and consequently the port and 
its regulations. One of Collie's steamers was about to go 
out without complying with the law. Old Lynch sent a half 
company of marines on board of her and took possession. 
This Whiting resented rather haughtily as an unwarrantable 
interference with his authority as commander of the port, 
and, marching in a battalion of the Seventeenth North Caro- 
lina Eegiment, under Lieut. Col. John C. Lamb, ejected the 
marines, and took possession of the steamer and hauled 
her up stream to her wharf. Lynch said he did not 
care how far Whiting took her up the river, but he vowed 
if any attempt was made to take her to sea, he would sink 
her, and he shotted his guns. Matters looked squally and 
excitement was high. A collision was feared. They were 
both summoned to Richmond to explain, and both returned 
apparently satisfied. Lynch, however, was shortly afterward 
relieved, and Commodore Pinckney took his place. 

We had often wondered why the port was not more effect- 
ually closed. To tell the truth it was hardly closed at all. 
Many of the blockade runners continued their career till the 
fall of Fisher. An experienced captain and good engineer 
invariably brought a ship safe by the blockading squadron. 
Wilkinson and Carter never failed — good sailors, cool, cau- 
tious, and resolute, they ran in and out without difficulty 
many times. The great danger was from the exterior line of 
the blockaders some forty or fifty miles out. 

But owing to the configuration of the coast it is almost im- 
possible to effect a close blockade. The Cape Fear has two 
mouths, the Old Inlet, at the entrance of which Fort Caswell 
stands, and the ISTew Inlet, nine miles up the river, where 
Fort Fisher guards the entrance. From the station off the 
Old Inlet, where there were usually from five to six blocka- 
ders, around to the station off the New Inlet, a vessel would 


have to make an arc of some fifty miles, owing to tlie Frying 
Pan Shoals intervening, while from Caswell across to Fisher 
was only nine miles. The plan of the blockade runners com- 
ing in was to strike the coast thirty or forty miles above or 
below the inlets, and then run along (of course at night) 
till they got under the protection of the forts. Sometimes 
they got in or out by boldly running through the blockading 
fleet, but that was hazardous, for, if discovered, the ocean 
was alive with rockets and lights, and it was no pleasant 
thing to have shells and balls whistling over you and around 
you. The chances were, then, that if you were not caught, 
you had, in spite of your speed, to throw a good many bales 
of cotton overboard. 

The wreck of these blockade runners not infrequently oc- 
curred by being stranded or beached, and highly diverting 
skirmishes would occur between the blockaders and the garri- 
sons of the forts for the possession. The fleet, however, never 
liked the AVhitworth guns we had, which shot almost with the 
accuracy of a rifle and with a tremendous range. The sol- 
diers generally managed to wreck the stranded vessels suc- 
cessfully, though oftentimes with gTeat peril and hardship. 
It mattered very little to the owners then who got her, as they 
did not see much of what was recovered — the soldiers think- 
ing they were entitled to what they got at the risk of their 
lives. But a wreck was a most demoralizing affair — the 
whole garrison generally got drunk and stayed drunk for a 
week or so afterward. Brandy and fine wines flowed like 
water ; and it was a month perhaps before matters could be 
got straight. Many accumulated snug little sums from the 
misfortunes of the blockade runners, who generally denounced 
such pillage as piracy ; but it could not be helped. 

We recollect the wrecking of the Ella off Bald Head in 
December, 1864. She belonged to the Bee Company, of 
Charleston, and was a splendid new steamer, on her second 
trip in, with a large and valuable cargo almost entirely owned 
by private parties and speculators. She was chased ashore by 
the blockading fleet, and immediately abandoned by her 


officers and crew, whom nothing would induce to go back in 
order to save her cargo. Yankee shells flying over, and 
through, and around her, had no charms for these sons of 
IsTeptune. Captain Badham, however, and his company, the 
Edenton (IST. C.) Battery, with Captain Bahnson, a fighting 
Quaker from Salem, N". C, boarded and wrecked her under 
the fire of the Federals — six shells passing through the Ella 
while they were removing her cargo. The consequence was 
that for a month afterward nearly the whole garrison were 
on "a tight," and groceries and drygoods were plentiful in 
that vicinity. The general demoralization produced by "Lon- 
don Dock" and "Hollands" seemed even to have affected that 
holy man, the chaplain, who said some very queer graces at 
the headquarters mess-table. 

Seldom, however, was there any loss of life attending these 
wrecks. But there was one notable case of the drowning of 
a famous woman, celebrated for her beauty and powers of 
fascination. We allude to the death of Mrs. Greenhow, so 
well known for many years in Washington circles. Before 
she even crossed the Confederate lines she had undoubtedly 
rendered valuable service to the authorities in Richmond, 
and was in consequence imprisoned by the Federal authori- 
ties in Washington. After coming to Richmond and laboring 
in the hospitals there for some time, she sailed for Europe 
from Wilmington, and it was on her return trip that she was 
drowned, just as she reached the shores of the South. She 
had lived past her beauty's prime, had drunk deep of fash- 
ion's and folly's stream of pleasure, had received the admira- 
tion and adulation of hundreds of her fellow-mortals, and had 
reached that point in life when those things no longer please, 
but pall on the senses. Her time had come. The Condor, a 
blockade runner on which she was coming as a passenger, was 
beached a short distance above Fort Fisher, and Mrs. Green- 
how, fearing capture and the treatment of a spy, pleaded with 
the captain to send her ashore. He refused, saying that he 
would protect her; but she finally prevailed upon him; and 
manning a boat, he made an effort to have her taken to the 


shore. Unfortunatelj, the boat capsized. She alone was 
drowned. It was supposed the gold she had sewed up in her 
clothing weighted her down and was the cause of her drown- 
ing. Her body was found on the beach at daylight by Mr. 
Thomas E. Taylor, who afterwards took it to Wilmington. 
She was laid out in the Seaman's Bethel, where we saw her. 
She was beautiful in death. After her funeral, her wardrobe 
and a great many articles that she had brought over for sale, 
and which had been rescued from the wreck, were sold at auc- 
tion in Wilmington. It was very splendid, and the "venture" 
she had brought in for sale was most costly. It was said that 
an English countess or duchess had an interest in this venture, 
and was to have shared the profits of the speculation. 

But the storm was soon to rain on our devoted heads. 
Those white-painted steamers, clipping the water so nimbly, 
with the British and Confederate flags flying, with their 
brandies and wines, their silks and calicoes, their bananas 
and oranges, gladdening the hearts of the dwellers on the 
banks of the Cape Eear, were soon to disappear from its 
waters, and the glory of Wilmington to depart. 

Day after day we had watched the blockading fleet with 
the naked eye and a glass, and often thought what a lonely 
time those fellows must be having, and longed for some 
northeast storm to send them on the coast, in order that we 
might have the pleasure of their acquaintance. Cushing's 
acquaintance, by the way, we came very near making, when 
that daring officer came up the Cape Fear in June, we 
think it was 1864, passing through the J^ew Inlet by Fort 
Fisher, with a boat's crew of some eighteen or twenty sailors 
and marines, and, landing half-way between the town and the 
fort, concealed his boat in a creek, and laid perdu on the 
Wilmington and Fisher road, waiting for Whiting or Lamb 
to come along. A mere accident enabled us to escape him; 
and, though of no importance ourself, we had papers with 
us at the time that would have been highly interesting to 
the United States Government. We all of us admired his 
courage, and thought it deserved success. We well remember 


delivering Cushing's message, repeated to us by the old citi- 
zen whom he caught and released, to General Whiting, that 
"he had been in Wilmington, and would have him or Colonel 
Lamb shortly." 

On December 24, 1864, the armada commanded by Butler 
and Porter appeared off the coast. That day the United 
States forces under Butler landed, and the bombardment of 
risher commenced, and such a feu d'enfer as was poured on 
that devoted fort was never seen. Coming up the river from 
Smithville on a steamer that afternoon we witnessed it, and 
such a roar of artillery we never heard. Those large double- 
enders seemed to stand in remarkably close to the fort, and 
deliver their fire with gi*eat accuracy, knocking up the sand 
on the ramparts. It seemed a continuous hail of shot and 
shell, many of them going over Fisher and dropping into the 
river. But Fisher was a long sand fort, stretching in an 
obtuse angle from the river bank around to the mouth of the 
'New Inlet, that opened into the ocean. It was over a mile 
from point to point. Though it was thus heavily bombarded 
for two days, little or no impression was made on its works 
except to give them a ragged appearance, and very few casual- 
ties occurred, the garrison sticking mostly to their bomb- 
proofs, which were very complete. Whiting was there in 
command in person, having been sent there by Bragg, of 
which latter personage presently. 

The next day, Christmas, was Sunday, and all day Por- 
ter's guns were thundering away at Fisher, and shaking the 
windows in Wilmington, where the citizens were offering up 
their prayers for our protection from the enemy. Communi- 
cation with Fort Fisher by land or telegraph was then cut 
off — the messages had been sent up to that time. Toward 
night sensational messages commenced to be brought up from 
below — one to the effect that the enemy were on the parapet 
at Fisher (in truth and in fact they never got closer than the 
stables, at least two or three hundred yards from the fort). 
Bragg sent Mrs. Bragg away that night at 9 p. m., in a special 
train up the Weldon Railroad, and an officer who saw him 


at about 11 p. m., reported that the old gentleman seemed to 
be quite unnerved, and that his hand was very tremulous. 
Of course, there was a great exodus of civilians from the 
place early the next morning, the fact that Mrs. Bragg had 
gone off acting as a keynote of alarm to others. By midday, 
Monday, however, these sensational reports and stories were 
all quieted by the authenticated news that the enemy had 
reembarked on the fleet and that the attack had ceased. Then 
the fleet sailed, and everything quieted down. The general 
impression was that there would not be another attack till 
after the spring equinox, say in May or June. 

When Whiting returned to the city, Bragg still continued 
in command, and his friends and himself evidently took the 
credit of having foiled Butler's attempt. Bragg was a friend 
and favorite of Mr. Davis. He had sided with General 
Taylor in Taylor's quarrel with General Scott, and Mr. 
Davis was a man who never forgot his friends nor forgave 
his enemies. He seemed determined to sustain Bragg at all 
events, though the feeling throughout the whole Army, and 
in fact, the South, was against that General. When Wilming- 
ton was known to be threatened, and Bragg was sent there, 
the Eichmond Examiner simply remarked, "Good-bye, Wil- 
mington !" and the prediction was verified. 

Whiting, after the first attack, wrote to Bragg, suggesting 
that in case of another attack, which would probably be made, 
to prevent surprise he would advise that Hagood's South 
Carolina brigade, numbering about 2,000 effective men, be 
thrown into Fort Fisher, the garrison of which consisted of 
one raw, inexperienced regiment, that had never smelled 
powder except in the first attack, and which did not number 
over 700 effective men. Hagood's troops were veterans, and 
had been in many a battle. He also advised that the three 
other brigades of Hoke's division be placed along about the 
spot where the Federals had first landed, and be intrenched 
so as to prevent a landing above the fort. Wise precautions, 
if they had been adopted. Bragg endorsed on the letter of 
advice from Whiting that he saw no necessity in carrying out 


those suggestions. It was the failure to carry out those sug- 
gestions that caused the loss of Wilmington. Had they been 
followed, Wilmington would not have fallen when it did, nor 
Fisher have been taken. Instead, Bragg brought Hoke's 
division up about a half mile back of Wilmington, over 
twenty miles from the Fort, and had a grand review there, 
in which he paraded himself in a new suit of uniform pre- 
sented to him by his admirers in Wilmington. 

Whiting's prediction about a surprise was shortly to be 
verified. Thursday night, the 10th of January, 1865, the 
fleet again appeared off Fisher. This time through Bragg's 
imbecility it did its work effectually. Friday morning the 
citizens of Wilmington were aroused by the booming of Por- 
ter's cannon, a second time opening on Fisher. WTien the 
news came up at midnight that the fleet had again appeared, 
the band of Hoke's division was in town serenading, the offi- i 
cers were visiting, and the men scattered about — Bragg, no / 
doubt, asleep in fancied security. "^ L/ ^ 

Of the capture of Fort Fisher, and the subsequent inevita- 
ble loss of Wilmington, I shall not speak. These events have 
passed into history. My purpose has been simply to por- 
tray the aspect of Wilmington when blockaded. 

Mrs. Geeenhow. 

(From Temple Bar 30—529—1870.) 

I knew her first in the full tide 

Of hope and burning zeal, 
For what her ardent spirit deemed, 

Her injured country's weal. 

I marked the curl of her proud lip, 

The flash of her dark eye, 
When for the struggling Southern cause. 

She vowed to live and die. 

Fierce was her glance, and fierce her words, 

She loathed the Northern foe. 
With that intensity of hate 

Impassioned women know. 


Her frantic sense of bitter wrongs 

Almost to madness rose, 
When with wild eloquence she told 

The tale of Southern woes. 

Grand, but appalling, was the burst 

Of passion shook her frame, 
When in her breast the rushing tide 

Of vengeful anger came. 

And yet at times that troubled face 

Was full of tender thought. 
And to her eyes a few kind words 

A soft'ning moisture brought. 

The ceaseless strife, the wild unrest. 

Had kept her years away 
From sacred rites she once had loved, 

The Christian's hope and stay. 

Yet she had faith, and longed to lean 

Her aching heart on God, 
Whose arm had sheltered her along 

The dangerous path she trod. 

But to forgive! ... Oh could she say 

She did forgive, whose cry 
So long had been the heathen prayer, 

"To be revenged and die!" 

Great was the conflict in that soul, 

Between grace and the tide 
Of passion springing from the might 

Of human love and pride. 

It ceased at last, grace won the day; 

She knelt, and though her fears. 
And eager hopes for her own land. 

Were strong as in past years. 

The frantic curse died on her lips, 

Her own wrongs she forgave. 
The heart that had been fierce became 

Thenceforward only brave. 

Her strength, her life, to the same cause 

Were still as wildly giv'n; 
But a dark cloud no longer stood 

Betwixt her soul and Heaven. 


I saw her last, one summer eve. 
In London, in a room 

Where brilliant lights and converse gay- 
Banished all thoughts of gloom. 

Her head was decked with roses red. 
Bright jewels on her breast. 

Her dark and most expressive eyes. 
The keenest hopes expressed. 

She poured in English statesmen's ears 
Her pleadings for the South; 

It was a joy to her to feel 
They heard them from her mouth. 

She spoke of her long prison days, 
And of the darksome nights, 

When running the blockade she watched 
The rows of lurid lights. 

The Northern vessels gleaming o'er 

The ocean's sullen gloom, 
Counting the while, with throbbing heart, 

The minutes fraught with doom. 

She told how she was soon to sail 

Again on the wild main. 
And spite the Northern fleet's array, 

The Southern shore regain. 

No other woman in that bark 

Its captain dared to take — 
Alone with men prepared to die. 

That passage she would make. 

But though she talked of death, her words 

No sad forebodings raised. 
The thought did not arise, as on 

That beaming face we gazed. 

It sounded like a wild romance, 

A tale of days of yore. 
Rather a thing to wonder at, 

Than sadly to deplore. 

From Greenock when about to sail, 

A kind farewell she wrote. 
To one whose tears soon afterwards 

Fell fast on that brief note. 


For in the autumn of the year, 

One eve the Times I read, 
With careless eyes, and then I saw 

The news that she was dead. 

The tale ran thus: Near Wilmington, 

One rough, tempestuous night, 
A Southern vessel in the dark 

Essayed to land its freight. 

The sea and sky were black as doom. 

No moon or shining star; 
But quick as lightning from the ships 

Flashed signal lights afar. 

At once, in a small open boat, 

Daring the waves and wind. 
One woman and two men descend, 

A watery grave to find. 

And on the morrow on the shore, 

A corpse that woman lay. 
The bright eyes closed, the strong heart stilled, 

The long hair drenched with spray. 

The treasure she had died to save, 

Was fastened in her vest. 
Not death itself had torn it from 

The cold and silent breast. 

She had been faithful to the last, — 

To a fond, hopeless dream; 
She did not live to see it fade. 

Like a delusive gleam. 

In the full ardor of that faith 

She died, and had her meed; 
The gold which she conveyed had reached 

Her country in its need. 

But in her last, her dying hour. 

If the belief be true, 
That drowning persons all their lives 

At one brief glance review. 

What was the mem'ry, what the thought. 

That gave her hopes of Heaven, 
On which her parting soul could rest 

Its claim to be forgiven? 


Oh, was it not the one in which 
Her softened heart had felt 

The deep, fierce hatred of her foes 
Pass from it as she knelt? 

Did not the words, "Now go in peace," 

Sound in her ears again? 
Did they not mingle in her dream 

With the voice of the main? 

Well might we breathe a prayer and say, 
"Oh, may she rest in peace!" 

Whose life had been a wild unrest. 
Closed by a timely grace. 

Long, long before me rose the thought. 

The vision of that scene; 
Of the last struggle of the end, 

Of all that life had been. 

Of all the sorrow, had she lived. 
She had been doomed to share; 

Of all her ardent soul was spared, 
Of anguish and despair. 


The Capture of Wilmington. 

Fort Fisher fell January 15, 1865. General Hoke, with 
4,500 veteran troops was intrenched in the sand hills, oppo- 
site to Fort Anderson, and General Terry, deeming his force 
too weak, awaited reinforcements before advancing. 

At length, on February 11, his strength being 8,000, he 
moved forward, but was checked by Hoke. On the night of 
the 14th, he sought to turn Hoke's left flank, but again failed. 
Abandoning the plan of a direct movement, he then threw 
Cox's division to the west shore of the river, purposing to ap- 
proach "Wilmington from that direction. The ironclads be- 
gan a brisk bombardment of Fort Anderson, and Cox made a 
feint as if to attack the fort in its front, but moved a brigade 
around Orton pond to gain the rear of the fort and possess 
himself of the open road to Wilmington. This movement 
being discovered. General Hagood at once abandoned the 


fort and took post beyond Town Creek. The right and rear 
of his position thus being opened to the fire of the Federal 
fleet, General Hoke fell back to a more secure position, four 
miles from the town. On the 19th General Cox advanced to 
Town Creek, and Terry followed Hoke on the east side of the 
river. The following day Cox crossed Town Creek below the 
Confederate position, and was able to reach Hagood's rear, 
after a stiff fight, capturing Colonel Simonton, who was in 
temporary command, a large number of oSicers, and 395 men. 
Two days later Cox reached Eagles Island, and Wilmington 
was at his mercy. Hoke thereupon destroyed such property 
as would be of use to the Federal Army, and retreated to- 
wards Goldsboro. On the morning of the 2 2d, General Terry 
entered and took possession of the town. 


Peace Restored 


After the four years' war, the trade and commerce of the 
Cape Fear gradually returned to normal conditions. At 
first there was a large coastwise trade by sailing vessels, 
chiefly schooners of 150 to 600 tons register, and a larger 
volume of business direct with Europe and the West Indies in 
foreign bottoms, consisting of brigs, barques, and sometimes 
of fully rigged ships, of British, German, and Scandinavian 
origin. The exports were naval stores — spirits turpentine, 
rosin, tar, and some cotton, to Europe, and lumber to the 
West Indies. 

For many years after the war Wilmington maintained 
first place in the turpentine and lumber trade, and there 
were as many as a hundred sailing vessels in port at one 
time. As the cotton trade increased it was taken up by this 
class of vessels, but in 1881 the new era of steam appeared 
in the arrival of the British steamer Bamesmore, chartered 
by Alexander Sprunt & Sou, which loaded a cargo of 3,458 
bales of cotton, 673 casks of spirits turpentine, and 550 
barrels of rosin. Much ado was made of this occasion, and a 
banquet and speech-making accentuated its importance to 
the community, but in his letter of acknowledgment to the 
president of the Chamber of Commerce, under whose aus- 
pices the event was celebrated, Captain Trenery, of the 
Bamesmore, regTetted to say that the depth of water in the 
Cape Fear was not sufficient to encourage further steamer 
trade. He, however, complimented his enterprising agents 
for loading into his ship in nine days, 3,458 bales of cotton. 
A few weeks ago the same firm loaded one of many cargoes 
within nine days, and this cargo consisted of 20,300 bales 
of cotton valued at a million and a half dollars, but it caused 
scarcely a ripple of remark in these progressive times; but 
the contrast of the Bamesmore with the Holtie is an object 
lesson in the development of Cape Fear commerce. The 


Barnesmores draft was 14 feet. The draft of the Holtie is 
20 feet, with seven to eight feet to spare underfoot in the 
river channel, which now shows 27 to 28 feet from Wilming- 
ton to the sea. 


In the preface to his History of New Hanover County, 
published in 1909, Col. Alfred Moore Waddell said: 

"What is called the lower Cape Fear Region of JSTorth Car- 
olina has long been recognized by the writers of our history 
as the most interesting, and, as one of them designated it, 
'the most romantic' section of our State. Yet, up to this 
time, although partial sketches, historical and biographical, 
have appeared, no attempt at a regular history of it has been 
published, and now such a history cannot be written because 
of the destruction, by fire and other agencies, of a large 
part of the material requisite for the purpose. There was, 
perhaps, no part of the country where so many planters' resi- 
dences with all their contents were lost by fire as on the Cape 
Fear and its tributaries, and it is well knovsno. among the de- 
scendants of those planters, some of whom were members of 
the learned professions, that by these fires many manuscripts, 
family records, and documents of various kinds that would 
have been invaluable as material for the preparation of a local 
history, were lost. Besides these fires on the plantations, the 
town of Wilmington was at an early period, as well as several 
times afterwards, nearly destroyed in the same way, with 
the same results, 

"None of the ancient official records of the town of Bruns- 
wick were preserved, and a considerable part of the county 
records were destroyed by jSTorthern soldiers when the town 
of Smithville was captured by them in 1865. Some of the 
town records of Wilmington of an early period have also dis- 

Many years ago, I searched in vain the ruins of the first 
settlement of Charlestown, at Town Creek, for records of 
that date, but my search was rewarded later by the discovery 


in the ruins of a house, said to have been the residence of 
]!^athaniel Rice, of the book of entries and clearances of the 
Port of Brunswick in a partly mutilated condition. I also 
searched at Lilliput among the ruins of Eleazar Allen's resi- 
dence, without result; also, the ruins of Governor Trjon's 
Castle Tryon, or palace at Orton, which revealed a piece of 
pottery stamped "W. Dry, Cape Fear, 1765," and a large 
bunch of housekeeper's keys upon an iron ring and hook 
which fitted into a leather belt with a spring by Avhich a key 
could be withdrawn and replaced. Other relics of less 
importance were discovered, but no papers. All of these 
ruins, as well as the ruins of St. Philip's Church, showed the 
devastation of fire, in charred woodwork and melted colored 

As early as 1771, Wilmington suffered from a terrible 
conflagration, and an act of Assembly was passed to regulate 
the affairs of the tovni, in view of possible fires. An account 
is given elsewhere of the destruction wrought in 1819, in 
which it is mentioned that, in the previous twenty years, 
there had been several destructive conflagrations. 

Mr. J. T. James says: "Wilmington, in common with 
many other of her sister towns and cities, has suffered often 
and seriously from the terrible scourge of fire, so much so in- 
deed, that these visitations have, from time to time, seriously 
retarded its growth. Scarcely would the citizens recover 
from the effects of one blow, ere they would be called upon to 
suffer again. The old chronicles tell us that in IsTovember, 
1798, a most destructive fire occurred. On July 22, 1810, 
three stores and five houses, situated near what is now the 
corner of Market and Second Streets, but then known as Mud 
Market, were consumed by fire caused by lightning. In 1819, 
there was a most terrible conflagration, and the four squares 
bounded by Water, Princess, Second and Dock Streets, were 
destroyed. In 1827, the square south of the site of the pres- 
ent market house was again burned. In 1840 the square 
north of the market was consumed for the second time, to- 
gether with the courthouse, which then stood at the inter- 


section of Front and Market Streets. In 1843 occurred one 
of the most serious conflagrations of any ever experienced. 
On April 30 of that year a fire originated in the alley just 
north of the Cape Fear Bank building and swept with rapid 
strides to the north. All exertions to check it were in vain, 
and it was not until everything west of Front Street and 
north of the bank alley and portions of every square east of 
the same street and bordering upon it and north of Chestnut 
were consimied, that its fiery course could be stopped. This 
fire also destroyed the workshops and buildings of the Wil- 
mington and Weldon Eailroad Company, and the Methodist 
Episcopal church, then situated, as now, upon the corner of 
Front and Walnut Streets. Three years afterwards, in 1846, 
the square next south of the market house was again and for 
the third time destroyed by fire." 

Reference was made to two of these fires by Sir Charles 
Lyell, the famous geologist, who was in Wilmington in De- 
cember, 1841, and again in January, 1842 ; and still again 
in December, 1845. In a letter written by him from Wil- 
mington in December, 1845, he said: "The streets which 
had just been laid in ashes when we were here four years ago 
are now rebuilt; but there has been another fire this year, 
imputed very generally to incendiarism because it broke out 
in many places at once. There has been a deficiency of fire- 
men, owing to the State having discontinued the immunity 
from militia duty, formerly conceded to those who served the 
fire engines." Some mention of the fire of 1843 is also made 
in the article on Governor Dudley. 

On Saturday night, April 11, 1880, a store building on 
Front Street, between Market and Dock Streets, occupied by 
Geo. A. Peck, was burned. During this fire a volunteer fire- 
man named William Ellerbrook entered the building followed 
by his dog, a large IsTewfoundland. After the fire was over 
his body was found crushed by the walls and timbers of the 
building, and by his side was found the body of the faithful 
dog. The dog had hold of his master's coat and was evidently 
trying to drag him out of danger when the crash came. Man 


and beast were buried together in Oakdale Cemetery, and a 
stone was erected by the volunteer fire company, of which 
EUerbrook was a member, and by his friends. 

About 1880 fire was discovered at Colville & Taylor's saw- 
mill at the foot of Walnut Street. The fire bell rang about 
twelve o'clock Friday night, and the fire companies were 
dismissed at six o'clock Sunday afternoon, but while the saw- 
mill was destroyed, a large part of the lumber was saved. 
The Champion Compress, near by, was also saved after a hard 

In the early part of 1886 one of the Fayetteville steamboats 
drifting down the river caught fire. Her tiller ropes burned 
in two and she landed at the Clyde Steamship wharf, which 
is now used by the Springer Coal Co. From this wharf the 
fire started about two o'clock, February 25, 1886, and swept 
up to the Champion Compress and destroyed that and the 
Atlantic Coast Line warehouses; burned the Methodist 
church on the corner of Front and Walnut Streets and every- 
thing on that block except the Methodist parsonage. Every- 
thing on the block west of that was also destroyed. The fire 
crossed Red Cross Street and burned Mr. Henry Nutt's hand- 
some residence, and sparks jumped to Brooklyn, and several 
frame houses were burned there. The fire department was 
dismissed the next day, and the military placed in charge 
to keep thieves from looting everything that had been put in 
the street. 

Fire Companies. 

The first Wilmington fire company was organized in 184Y 
and chartered in 1867, under the name of the Wilmington 
Hook and Ladder Company. In 1857 the Howard Eelief 
Fire Engine Company was organized and was chartered two 
years later. The third company was chartered in 1869, and 
called the Wilmington Steam Fire Engine Company. All of 
these companies were volunteer organizations, and the appara- 
tus for each was purchased and maintained by subscriptions 
from the business men of the city and by the dues of the mem- 


In addition to the above named volunteer companies, there 
was a fire company composed entirely of negroes, and about 
1870, with the assistance of the city, it was furnished with 
a steam fire engine. This company was almost entirely 
supported by the city from its inception ; it was a very good 
company, and did splendid work under the command of 
Valentine Howe, who was an exceptionally fine negro. 

About 1878 the first appropriation was made by the city 
for the support of these companies, and this was gradually in- 
creased, until in 1898 the city took over the property of the 
entire fire department, since which time it has been imder 
the efiicient leadership of Chief Schnibben. 


Early in October, 1869, a remarkable incident occurred in 
Cape Fear waters which drew the attention of the civilized 
world upon the port of Wilmington. Cuba was in a state 
of insurrection against the Spanish Government and, although 
there was no established seat of government, the Cubans 
proclaimed a republic. ISTeither the United States nor any 
foreign power, except some South American States, had rec- 
ognized the Cuban Eepublic or accorded the rights of bellig- 

Therefore, when the Cuban man-of-war Cuha, alias Hor- 
net, alias Lady Stirling^ alias Prince Albert, for she had 
assumed all of these names in order to escape detection at sea, 
arrived on a quiet Sunday morning in the Cape Fear Eiver 
she made quite a sensation, which was increased when two 
of her ofiicers appeared at the First Presbyterian churcli in 
Wilmington and called from his devotions, in front of this 
writer, the late Mr. David G. Worth, the only dealer in coal 
in the town at that time, with a request that he deliver at 
once a supply of coal for the Cuban man-of-war. The re- 
quisition upon the straight-laced Presbyterian was promptly 
rejected, much to the disgust and dismay of the applicants, 
who were told that he did not sell nor deliver coal on Sunday. 


Meantime, the Washington Government was informed bj 
wire that the Cuba, a propeller of 1,800 tons register, with 
two smokestacks, two masts, brig-rigged, pierced for 18 guns, 
two of which were pivots of very heavy caliber, with a strange 
flag, commanded by Captain Higgins, with 300 men and 30 
officers, was waiting in the port of Wilmington for needed 
supplies with which to prey upon Spanish commerce. 

Prompt action followed this news. The U. S. gunboat 
Frolic (formerly the IS'orth Carolina steamship blockade 
runner Advance) and two other war vessels were dispatched 
to the Cape Eear to intercept the stranger, aaid the Federal 
Court subsequently seized and disarmed her. 


The present project for the improvement of the upper 
Cape Fear River was adopted by Congress in the River and 
Harbor Act of June 25, 1910. This project contemplates an 
improvement by canalization and dredging to obtain a navi- 
gable depth of water between Wilmington and Fayetteville 
of eight feet. To accomplish this it is planned to put in two 
locks and dams. The first lock and dam, known as "Lock 
and Dam j^o. 1," is under construction at King's Bluff, 39 
miles above Wilmington ; and the second, or "Lock and Dam 
'No. 2," is to be located at Brown's Landing, near Elizabeth- 
town, 72 miles above Wilmington. The 8-foot channel be- 
tween Wilmington and King's Bluff has already been ob- 
tained by dredging, and it is only necessary now to maintain 
it. The locks will be of concrete, with pile foundations and 
steel-mitering gates. The lock at King's Bluff will be about 
294 feet long over all, with a maximum width at the base of 
about 84 feet. The walls will be 28 feet high, and the cham- 
ber will take vessels about 200 feet long and 40 feet wide. 
The dam will be of the timber-crib type filled with stone, 
with sheet-piling above and below. It will be about 275 


feet long and 50 feet wide, and will raise tlie water eight 
feet above that in the lower part of the river. The abutment 
for the dam on the side of the river opposite the lock will be 
of reinforced concrete pile construction, and will have the 
same height as the lock walls. As the dam is low, in compari- 
son with the river banks, it will be submerged, and its effect 
as an obstruction in the river will disappear bj the time the 
river rises to the top of the bank, so that the area of land 
covered by water during flood times will be practically the 
same after the dam is put in as it is now. As the lock walls 
are much higher than the dam, vessels may use the lock dur- 
ing a considerable rise in the river, and when the river 
drowns out the lock, there will be no fall over the dam and 
vessels may pass directly over it. 

Up to the present time the cofferdam for the lock has 
been about 95 per cent completed. This cofferdam is con- 
structed of steel interlocking piling made by the Lackawanna 
Steel Company, and is of the same general type as was used 
in the cofferdam for raising the battleship Maine. The pil- 
ing is 45 feet long, and was driven through from 23 to 28 
feet of compact sand and thin layers of rock. This piling 
is anchored back by heavy steel wire cables to pile anchorages 
52 feet from the wall. In addition to the above work on the 
cofferdam, the dredging inside of the cofferdam and of the 
approaches has been completed. This dredging involved the 
removal of 33,000 cubic yards of material. Inside the coffer- 
dam a level bottom was secured about 18 feet below water. 
Driving the foundation piles is now in progress ; this requires 
the driving of 1,850 piles with a penetration of about 23 feet. 
When it is completed, concrete will be deposited around the 
heads of the piles, the cofferdam will be pumped out, and 
the lock wall built in the dry. Work on the abutment will 
be started shortly and carried on simultaneously with the 
construction of the lock, and as soon as these are completed 
the dam will be built in place. 

The land at the site for Lock and Dam IsTo. 2 has been 
secured and work will be started there during the first part 


of next year. The same general type of construction will be 
used there as at King's Bluff. Here, however, the dam will 
raise the water 12 feet above the level of the water between 
King's Bluff and Brown's Landing, thus requiring heavier 
construction throughout. 

Congress has so far appropriated $615,000 for the im- 
provement. This amount will be sufficient to complete Lock 
and Dam 'No. 1 and a part of Lock and Dam No. 2, A fur- 
ther appropriation of $416,000 will be necessary to complete 
the project to Eayette^alle. 

With favorable river conditions in 1914, the lock and 
dam at King's Bluff should be completed by the end of that 
year. If sufficient money is appropriated, the lock and dam 
at Brown's Landing should be finished by 1916. 

The advantages to be derived from this improvement are 
obvious and are those which would naturally result from 
certain all-the-year-round navigation with 8-feet navigable 
depth. It will benefit the cities of Wilmington and Fayette- 
ville, at the two ends of the improved channel, in a commer- 
cial way, acting as it will as a steady and increasing feeder 
to their business activities. In addition to this, not the least 
important result will be that this stream, with its cheap 
transportation facilities close at hand, will act as a constant 
incentive to the development of the agricultural resources of 
the country through which it flows. 


To the efforts of the Board of Commissioners of Naviga- 
tion and Pilotage, with the cooperation of the Chamber of 
Commerce and with the aid of our Representatives in Con- 
gress, are largely due the development of the River and Har- 
bor Improvement, the marking of the river and bar channel, 
the building and establishment of the new lightship on 
Knuckle Shoal — the finest lightship in the service of the 
United States — the important aid to river navigation in the 


thirtj-one powerful new lights (for which the Board obtained, 
through great perseverance, an appropriation from Con- 
gress), the construction of the best pilot service on the coast, 
the systematic monthly soundings of the bar by competent 
pilots, the quarterly charted soundings of the bar and river 
(which are posted in the Chamber of Commerce), the re- 
duction of river and bar casualties until they are almost 
unknown, the minimizing of the rates of marine insurance, 
and the establishment by subscription of a fund for the bene- 
fit of the widows and children of deceased pilots of the Cape 
Fear Eiver and bar, amounting now to about $6,000 and 
which it is the ambition of the chairman to raise to $20,000. 

These are some of the things which the Board of Commis- 
sioners of ISTavigation and Pilotage has done for Wilming- 
ton ; and all of this work, and much more, has been done with- 
out emolument or reward, beyond the satisfaction of serving 
well the Port of Wilmington and the Commonwealth of 
ISTorth Carolina. The Board's aim has been always to build 
up, and in this constructive work it has received the constant 
support and cooperation of practically all the working pilots. 

The Board consists of three commissioners residing in 
Wilmington and two residing in Southport, all being ap- 
pointed every four years by the Governor of l^orth Carolina. 
This is the oldest commercial organization in the State, hav- 
ing been established about eighty years ago, and it has always 
been composed of reputable, experienced men, familiar with 
maritime affairs pertaining to the Port of Wilmington and to 
the Cape Pear Kiver and bar. 

The commissioners have authority in all matters appertain- 
ing to the navigation of the Cape Fear waters from seven 
miles above ISTegrohead Point downward and out of the bar. 
They license and control the pilots, and have authority to 
make regulations, and to impose reasonable fines, forfeitures, 
and penalties for the purpose of enforcing their rules and 
regulations. They elect the harbor master and port wardens. 

The Board meets for the transaction of routine business at 
11 o'clock on the first Wednesday of every month, and the 


chairman calls special meetings in cases of urgency for 
official action. 

Bar pilotage is compulsory, and, although river pilotage 
is optional, the services of a river pilot are employed in 
nearly all cases. 


An important arm of great reach and efficiency is the ad- 
mirable Revenue Cutter Service on this station. At no time 
in its history has this service been more effective in life- 
saving and in the rescue of imperiled ships from imminent 
destruction than during the past three years. Within the 
writer's memory more than a hundred vessels have been 
totally lost on or near Cape Fear and many brave seamen 
went down with them ; but such is the equipment and effi- 
ciency of the cutter Seminole and the professional skill and 
daring of her commander, his well tried officers and men, that 
valuable ships and crews, given up for lost in the terrific win- 
ter gales of our dangerous coast, have been drawn out of the 
teeth of the destructive elements and restored to usefulness, 
and this without reward or the hope of reward beyond their 
consciousness of duty done. 

Repeated recognitions of rescue work have been made by 
Lloyd's and other important underwriters, and two services of 
silver plate have been presented to the commander and officers 
of the Seminole, and quite recently, with the approval of 
the Secretary of the Treasury, a gymnasium has been pre- 
sented by friends of this valuable service, to the crew of that 
vessel as a mark of appreciation by shipowners and under- 
writers and as a reward of distinguished merit. 

The quality of mercy is not strained by the fine fellows who 
respond so quickly and eagerly to the S.O.S. wireless call for 
help. An unwritten law compels them to succor a fellow 
seaman in distress even at the risk of their own destruction, 
and it stirs the blood of all humanity to read of ships like the 
Seminole, tossed upon a raging sea, yet standing by a sink- 
ing ship until every man is rescued from the jaws of death. 


During the past decade the President of the United States 
has annually designated vessels of the Revenue Cutter Serv- 
ice to actively patrol the Atlantic coast during the winter 
months for the purpose of rendering aid to distressed mer- 
chant craft. The patrol extends from Maine to the Gulf of 
Mexico and has numbered as many as ten cutters. From the 
first day of December of each year to the first day of April 
following, the patrolling force is contantly cruising. 

The littoral lying between Cape Hatter as and Charleston 
has for several years constituted the station of the Revenue 
Cutter Seminole. Measured between lightships, or over the 
course usually followed by coasting steamers, the distance 
between the northern and southern extremities of this sta- 
tion is 270 nautical miles. This stretch of coast during the 
winter months is noted for the disasters which occur to ship- 
ping. The Seminole's record for the winter season of 1912- 
13 is typical. During the four months from December 1, 
1912, to April 1, 1913, the cutter assisted, in all, nine 
craft, comprising both steamers and sailing vessels, and rep- 
resenting a value of floating property of $993,000, a cargo 
value of $573,000, or a total vessel-and-cargo valuation of 
$1,566,000. A tenth vessel,